Posthaste Facts on the Environment #22


Asbestos False Alarm

Even if you're right, you still lose. At least that's what small business owner Bill Stoyles experienced when dealing with regulators.

In 1995, Bill Stoyles wanted to expand his Mason City, Iowa graphics company, Stoyles Graphic Services, by 18,000 square feet. During the expansion, an inspector with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) visited the site, noted the presence of asbestos in the roof shingles, and ordered them removed at a cost of $2,000 to $3,000.

Stoyles called in a local roofer who found that, in fact, there was no asbestos in the shingles. Not satisfied with Stoyles' results, the DNR ordered Stoyles to send a sample into Iowa State University to be tested. The report confirmed Stoyles' claim, but it wasn't without cost.

Stoyles had to pay $500 for the report and delay construction. Mr. Stoyles feels that the problem could have been handled at the local level, saving both time and money. "This was a case of... a very difficult solution to a very easy problem," said an exasperated Stoyles.

Source: Interview with Bill Stoyles

Posthaste Facts on the Environment #22, published October 28, 1997 by The National Center for Public Policy Research

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