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Statement on OSHB Citation on Asbestos at Gateway

The City's response to citation on asbestos at Gateway.
September 01, 2023

The City of Albuquerque has received a citation from the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) on the handling of asbestos containing materials (ACM) at the Gateway Center. The citation confirms that although remediation protocols were not correctly followed in a small portion of construction, corrective action was taken and proper abatement has happened since.

“We know that removal procedures were not correctly followed for a small section of the project, and we have corrected these issues on all other sections and are ensuring ongoing construction is in compliance,” said General Services Director John Craig.

“The City takes asbestos-related concerns seriously and is conducting a formal review of the firm responsible for construction and the City’s processes to prevent any recurrence,” said Chief Operations Officer Kevin Sourisseau.

As outlined in a release from the City of Albuquerque in April, 2023, an inspection by the City Planning Department’s Building Safety Division revealed asbestos removal protocols had not been correctly followed early in the project during construction of a small part of the building: Overnight Beds. Notification of the presence or absence of ACM is required prior to renovation work, and this did not happen.

After an interim OSHB report was given to the City, the City hired Southwest Abatement, Inc. to fully examine the entire Phase 1 area, including Overnight Beds, Medical Sobering and Medical Respite, and completely remove any further ACM from the site. Out of the 20,000 square feet that was remodeled in this part of the building, about 4,000 square feet needed ACM abatement.

In addition to evaluating the contractor, the City project manager for this work was issued a corrective Post Inspection Notification (PIN). The managers operating in the facility have received additional training related to construction when ACM may be present.

The City Attorney is evaluating the full citation.