Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Files Court Action Against Walpole Scrap Yard for Wetlands and Solid Waste Violations
"The allegations in this complaint paint a very disturbing picture of flagrant violations of environmental laws meant to protect natural resources and the public's health," said Attorney General Coakley. "Companies cannot continue to ignore environmental laws and expect to continue to operate without consequence."
"This company chose to blatantly disregard its compliance with environmental laws and regulations, which is unfortunate, and particularly so with violations of this magnitude" said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. "This case is a good example of MassDEP using its innovative wetlands aerial surveillance program to identify and prosecute individuals who attempt to illegally fill wetlands in the Commonwealth."
According to the complaint, the companies have been illegally filling and altering wetland areas at and around their 17-acre Main Street property since as early as 1988, including wetlands subject to a conservation restriction recorded in 1976. The complaint also alleges that the companies have failed to properly label, store, and otherwise handle oil and gasoline and have also failed to report releases of oil at the site. Additionally, the complaint states that the companies have been receiving construction and demolition waste and wood waste without a permit and have failed to properly dispose of asbestos.
In addition to civil penalties, the Attorney General's Office is seeking a court order requiring the companies to restore the destroyed wetlands, to perform an environmental assessment and to carry out a plan to deal with the waste at the property. The requested order would also require the defendants to come into compliance with the various laws they have violated.
This matter was referred to the Attorney General's Office by MassDEP in February 2009.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Louis Dundin of Attorney General Coakley's Environmental Protection Division with assistance from Marc LaPlante, Eric Worrall, Susan Ruch, Mark Fairbrother, Scott Fasulo, John Macauley, Wayne Lozzi, and Robert Johnson of MassDEP; and, Heidi Zisch of MassDEP's Office of General Counsel.