MAROC Says BU Can’t Breathe Easy with PCS, Inc.

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A labor dispute led by the Laborers’ Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition (MAROC) had drivers slowing past BU’s Buckingham Maintenance Center on Lightstreet Road today. A huge blow-up rat was placed in front of the entrance to the university with a sign: “Bloomsburg University uses Power Component Systems.”

MARCOS announced their concerns about PNS, Inc.'s failure on past construction projects to maintain a save environment.  PNC is the construction company hired by the university to carry out construction on the Nelson Field House. (Photo by Connor Showalter)
MAROC announced concerns about PCS, Inc.’s failure to maintain safe environments on past construction projects. PCS has been hired by the university to carry out upcoming construction on the Nelson Field House. (Photo by Connor Showalter)

At the site of the protest, there were two demonstrators who wanted to make the university aware of current construction at the Nelson Field House. One of the organizers, Joe Wingert, said MAROC’s goals are to inform the public about the danger of toxic asbestos and to have people question whether the contracting company employed is “reliable.”

Asbestos are fibrous silicate minerals primarily found in building materials to provide strong and stable insulation that is resistant to electricity and fires. Some health experts say these fibers have the potential to be released into the air during demolition procedures and serious health problems, such as lung cancer, can occur if they are inhaled.

Fliers passed out by Wingert refer to cases where PCS, Inc., the construction company hired by the university, has failed to provide safeguards against damages to the environment, and has been cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the Clean Air Act. There was also information that the contracting company has been fined and removed from projects they were hired for because of repeated violations and health risks inflicted on communities.

MAROC suggests that PCS is not the right candidate for the demolition on BU’s campus. They imply that PCS will not safely remove the asbestos from the buildings being repaired and reconstructed, thus poisoning the air around Bloomsburg University.

The protestors urge people to understand the situation and to contact Diane Shamsburg at Bloomsburg University at (570) 389-4312 with concerns about safety or the contractors. If you have questions about the demonstration call Tim Bowen of MAROC at (717) 561-3702.

Comments

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is scary. My father is certified to remove asbestos from buildings not unlike the ones on campus that PCS will work with. So, this is not the first time I’ve heard this information. They have put so many people in danger during the course of thier careear. The precautions that one needs to take in order to make something like asbestos removal safe for the surrounding environment (and people!) are extraoridnary and if you do any kind of research with the goverment agencies it is clear how unfit PCS is to work on or around our campus. I am rather shocked that Bloomsburg was not more dilligent in their selection of contractors. PCS may be cheaper but is this is an area we want to be skimping on?

    http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/f2812c1a8484b3b5852572a000650c02/aa66fccd69dc4f84852570d60070feeb!OpenDocument

  2. I drove by and saw the rat but had no idea thats what was going on. The university will hopefully no longer contract PCS to do this work. As a major community leader the University should be taking every step possible to act in an environmentally friendly way. Contracting with companies that have been cited by the EPA is a horrible idea, especially when the health of everyone in the area is at stake!

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