Detroit demo contractor tears down wrong house — here's why it matters

December 18, 2019, 4:45 PM

Top Detroit demolition contractor Adamo is again facing suspension for tearing down the wrong house for the second time in less than two years, the Free Press is reporting.

The house Adamo was supposed to tear down, at 14461 Alma, was highly blighted and owned by the Land Bank. The house it did tear down, at 14661 Alma, was also highly blighted and owned by the Land Bank.

The key distinction is whether remediation work was done on the property, because home teardowns can spew hazardous substances like asbestos and lead into the air.

And that's looking like a hard "no."

From Freep:

Detroit Building Authority Special Projects Director Brian Farkas confirmed no asbestos survey had been conducted on 14461 Alma prior to the demolition but he said "standard environmental procedures were followed."

"The structure was wetted for five minutes prior to the knock down and water also was sprayed to envelop dust during demolition," Farkas said.

However, the incident sparks fresh concerns about quality controls in place within the city's demolition program, which has had a series of highly publicized contractor errors and environmental concerns since Mayor Mike Duggan first began his aggressive effort to remove residential blight from Detroit. 

State environmental officials are investigating. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, the Freep reports, can hold both contractors and the property owner responsible for potential asbestos violations. It wasn't clear what happened when it demo'd the wrong house for the first time, in spring of 2018.

Adamo for now will be suspended from Detroit's demolition program for 90 days. If a demo company goes a year without a violation after a suspension, its slate is wiped clean. 

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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