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Asbestos and Hazardous Material Management for Cobo Center Located in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan

PM Environmental, Inc.in concert with InStar Services Group, L.P. (InStar), conducted emergency fire response activities to address building material damage due to a fire that occurred in facility maintenance and chemical storage areas at the Cobo Center prior to the North America International Auto Show. During the fire, commercial cleaning and facility maintenance chemicals were destroyed and consumed as well as battery operated equipment and building materials containing mercury, PCBs, lead, and asbestos.

PM, as the environmental and safety consultant, mobilized to the convention center and performed rapid response assessment and control activities that included control of fire-related odors, potential respiratory irritants, and water associated with fire fighting activities.  During the initial assessment and material sampling activities, PM identified smoke damage to an above-space air plenum (approximately 12 feet in height) that was insulated with spray on asbestos fireproofing. The asbestos insulation was installed in the 1960s and was friable in nature and was identified as debris that had delaminated and was covering building system equipment (HVAC ductwork, electrical and plumbing related components, and building structural components). 

PM prepared an Asbestos Abatement Project Design and a Decontamination Work Plan to address the hazards posed by these conditions.  PM worked with local Cobo management staff, the restoration contractor, asbestos abatement contractors, and the State of Michigan Asbestos Program to expedite the response activities and to waive necessary work notification requirements.  All work was performed while the Cobo Center was operating and providing conference services to its clients.  The work areas were restricted and enclosed so that visitors, patrons, and employees of Cobo Center were not inconvenienced or distracted by the abatement and facility cleaning activities.

During the work, PM conducted on-site air monitoring and analysis of the work areas and response contractor personnel.  PM directed the removal of damaged and regulated waste materials to insure its proper off-site disposal.  Upon clearance of the work space, PM’s client proceeded with final fire restoration work and reconstruction of the damaged tenant space.