Work stopped at old naval base

State health officials have stopped work on the former Charleston Naval Base after demolition work there failed to properly contain asbestos, the white material pictured. Photo provided

State environmental officials have stopped demolition work on steam pipes at the former Charleston Naval Base because they were wrapped in asbestos.

State Department of Health and Environmental Control officials visited the site last week in response to an anonymous complaint, and the inspector found what appeared to be asbestos and halted work, DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley said today.

Later tests by two separate labs indicated the material was indeed asbestos, he said.

The work site was a mostly open field just south of the base’s former power plant. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral once used for insulation but no longer used because its fibers can cause cancer.

Jeff Baxter, director of development for the Noisette Co., which owns the site, said the company was under the impression that its contractor, AAA Metal Co., would get the proper permits. Noisette has been cooperating with DHEC, Baxter said.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.