Calaveras County and one of its contractors could face a a large fine for possibly mishandling asbestos during a construction project last year.
The Environmental Protection Agency has given the county and Jake Koplen Construction of San Andreas thirty days to answer a complaint it filed recently. Otherwise, they must pay a $220,000 fine.
A county administrative official said at the time that 50-to-60 workers could have been exposed before work was stopped.
Long-term exposure to asbestos has been associated with lung cancer and other diseases. The EPA says the two parties didn´t inform the agency well in advance of plans to work on asbestos-containing material.
The agency also says the two parties didn´t dispose of it at a suitable site.