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Penalties rejected in Lambert asbestos case

By Rachel Lippmann

St. Louis – A federal judge has refused to penalize the city of St. Louis for using an improper asbestos control method while building the new runway at Lambert Airport.

District judge Carol Jackson ruled in September that the city violated federal clean air regulations by using a spray of water on homes it was demolishing to control the release of asbestos. The so-called "wet method" is allowed in some circumstances.

Jackson ruled the Bridgeton families who filed the lawsuit were not directly harmed by the method, and therefore could not collect damages or request soil testing.

An attorney for the family, Bruce Morrison, said he's not sure about appealing Jackson's recent ruling.

"The primary purpose of the suit was to stop the unlawful practice. That was accomplished," he said.

An airport spokesman says officials there are pleased with the judge's ruling on standing.