Asbestos issues remain unattended

Posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

I find it amazing that the Legislature is considering adjourning in a few days. There is so much unfinished business.

It's common knowledge that these people wait until the last minute to pass legislation. However, it seems that they always put the most important issues on the back burner until it's almost impossible to reasonably resolve the issues. I'm totally fed up with the Alaska Legislature. They seem to think that the world revolves around them, but it doesn't. Some issues are placed on the back burner and some are placed so far back that they garnish no heat at all.

Asbestos is an extremely dangerous construction material that has since been removed from building construction all together.

On that note, the State Office Building in Juneau is laden with asbestos, but unfortunately some people are content with leaving it where it is rather than implementing an abatement process. I know that it's expensive, but how much is a human life worth? I think it's worth more than the cost of the process of stabilizing or removing the hazardous material. There have been studies done on the asbestos, but no one has acted upon the findings. The paradox here is this - the schools in Juneau were abated, but why not the buildings where the parents of those children work? It just doesn't make sense.

The Legislature holds the power of the purse, so why don't they act on it with appropriate measures to minimize the danger of asbestos. They do it in Anchorage. I know that they want to move the capital, but this is ridiculous.

Do something that doesn't have conditions attached to it. Just do it.

Clancy DeSmet Juneau

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