Woodbridge Contractor Charged With Asbestos Violations
A Woodbridge businessman stands accused of releasing asbestos dust and debris at nearly a dozen renovation sites in four counties - including a Union County daycare center - and performing unlicensed asbestos abatement in five more counties in New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth.
William T. Muzzio, Jr., 50, faces 10 counts of unlawful release of a toxic pollutant, a second-degree offense; 36 counts of violating the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act, a count of theft by deception and two counts of uttering a forged document. The latter three are third-degree violations.
New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says the probe into Muzzio's company, Citadel Environmental Consultants, began in March when the Townley School in Union hired him to pull asbestos-laced pipe insulation from its basement boiler room.
After he completed the work in February, the state Department of Health and Human Services discovered through the Labor Department that Muzzio wasn't licensed to perform the job.
A probe by the Labor Department and the Division of Criminal Justice, say authorities, allegedly uncovered dust and debris contaminated by asbestos in the boiler room and an adjoining crawl space. Daycare center operators hired a licensed contractor to finish the task.
Muzzio is also accused of performing unlicensed asbestos abatement at nine schools in the Woodbridge district, in which he was hired to seal asbestos-based insulation to prevent its release. Investigators believe he removed asbestos floor tiles in four more schools.
The theft counts relate to four cases in which authorities say Muzzio misled clients to believe he was licensed in order to secure jobs and payment. He's also accused of doctoring a false license to appear state-issued and presenting it to two clients.
Investigators say they identified 35 other sites, including 13 schools, an apartment complex and 21 homes where Muzzio allegedly worked without a license between April 2011 and May of this year.
He's accused of letting asbestos enter the air at nine homes in Middlesex, Union, Essex and Hudson counties. He's also believed to have done unlicensed work in Ocean, Monmouth, Morris, Warren and Hunterdon counties. .
Each second-degree crime carries possible state prison terms of five to 10 years and fines up to $150,000. Third-degree violations are punishable by three to five years in prison and fines up to $15,000. Muzzio's case will be heard in Union County.