The training fire set by Jasper Fire Department January 14 at 160 Birch Street that was flagged as illegal by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has been found to be contaminated. The structure was given to the city for fire training uses and put to that use but an anonymous call to the EPD and FYN found that burn was against EPD regulations.
Jasper Fire Chief Steve Roper stated he was unaware of EPD regulations regarding the removal of exposed wiring, shingles and a thorough asbestos inspection before any burn can be initiated.
Brian Koehler of the EPD stated that the outreach programs regarding EPD rules are less prominent than they used to be so the fire department being unaware is not a stretch.
After the inspection of the site, there was a 20% asbestos remnant found from vinyl flooring and siding therefore the City of Jasper will have to pay a company for clean-up. Two companies gave nearly identical quotes but the City Council voted to opt for Bruce Environmental out of Dallas, GA, with the lower price of $7495 and a likely one-day operation.