A West Des Moines company and its owner have been assessed a $80,000 civil penalty for violating state environmental laws in the demolition of a Williamsburg truck stop.

Iowa District Court Judge Paul Miller assessed the penalty against Jai Santoshi Ma Inc., and owner Bhupen Patel for environmental violations during and after demolition of the former Middle America Truck Stop. Before beginning the demolition, the defendants failed to inspect for asbestos and notify the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The firm was fined for failing to remove the asbestos prior to demolition, for burying some of the debris on-site and sending other debris to a landfill without identifying the waste as containing asbestos. The defendants also left debris in the open air without wetting it down to prevent the release of asbestos.

The judge also ordered Patel and Jai Santoshi Ma to refrain from further violations, identify and properly dispose of all asbestos-contaminated soil at the site, and provide the state with related reports, test results and invoices.