LA Man Pleads Guilty to Asbestos Work Practice Conspiracy

John Bostick apparently knew the building's ceiling contained asbestos but failed to tell workers, who were not trained in correct work practice techniques.

John Bostick pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards during the renovation of a 204-unit apartment building in Winnetka, Calif., in 2006, according to a Feb. 23 press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers.

According to the plea agreement filed in federal court, Bostick knew in January 2006 that asbestos was present in the ceilings of the units of the apartment complex known as Forest Glen. Knowing that the asbestos was there, Bostick and his co-conspirators hired a group of workers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements and had them scrape the ceilings of the apartment units without telling the workers about the asbestos. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area and also caused the unlicensed workers to potentially be exposed to asbestos. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the California South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of about $1.2 million.

On June 14, 2010, Joseph Yoon, the project manager, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the asbestos work place standards at the apartment site. A sentencing date has been set for April 25.

A six-count indictment charging conspiracy and multiple violations is pending against co-defendant Charles Yi, who was the owner of the Forest Glen condominiums. The trial in this case is scheduled for March15. The allegations in the indictment are mere accusations and all persons are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the U.S. Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar