NEK anti-poverty group fined for asbestos and safety hazards

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) A state investigation details a Vermont anti-poverty group didn't tell its employees that one of its facilities contained asbestos, exposing workers to health and safety risks.

The investigation that concluded in May shows that the Northeast Kingdom Community Action paid nearly $3,500 in fines this year for violations at its St. Johnsbury building.

The nonprofit provides social services to residents in the region.

Inspectors say they visited the facility in December that house playgroup spaces and parenting services after receiving a complaint from a former employee.

The Caledonian Record reports employees were also not made aware of a 2014 report commissioned by the nonprofit that showed asbestos in the facility.

Jenna O'Farrell, the organization's executive director, says the entire building has since been renovated to address the identified risks.

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