A developer from Des Moines has been fined half a million dollars after being found to have violated asbestos regulations. The fine was imposed after asbestos was found at a building that was undergoing renovations, according to a recent report.

Bob Knapp, the developer, agreed to the fine in Polk County District Court earlier this week. Part of the historic building, which was built in the 1920s, was being renovated for luxury apartments, but state tests showed the presence of asbestos.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources allows a maximum ten thousand dollar fine, but this was deemed too small, and so the case was passed on to the Attorney General’s Office. It is thought that the $500,000 fine is the state’s largest civil penalty for an asbestos violation.

The Iowa Attorney General said: “We alleged Equitable L.P. completely ignored asbestos-handling requirements during renovations from 2005 to 2007, until the Iowa DNR became involved.”

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