A Little River contractor has been sentenced to six months in prison after prosecutors say he did nothing to stop cancer-causing materials from blowing onto a beach during renovation work at an oceanfront condominium.
Prosecutors said Cool Cote, LLC owner David Braswell was also sentenced to six months in home confinement and will receive another three years’ probation for violating the federal Clean Water Act. He had faced a five-year sentence and a $250,000 fine as part of a plea agreement in which he admitted guilt to one felony charge.
Cool Cote was hired to remove and replace siding at the Regency Towers in Myrtle Beach in 2009. The Environmental Protection agency said Braswell was told the siding contained asbestos material and agreed to do the job for a lower price. However, prosecutors said the company did not do a required asbestos inspection, did not obtain proper permits to remove the materials, and did not provide the proper protection to its employees.
“Instead of removing the asbestos containing material legally and safely, he directed workers to pressure wash the material in violation of the work practice standards and as a result, contaminated a local beach and adjacent properties,” Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in South Carolina, said in a statement.
An indictment also states Braswell lied to EPA investigators when confronted afterwards.
He must also pay a $10,000 fine as part of a plea deal.
Cool Cote no longer exists, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office.