For Immediate Release - November 19, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Reaches Settlement with Middleboro Company for Illegally Dumping Solid Waste and Violations of the False Claims Act

BOSTON - A Middleboro company has entered into a settlement with Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office for illegally dumping solid waste material at a private property in Sutton, Massachusetts and for inappropriately billing the Commonwealth for this work. Under the terms of the judgment, Bay State Construction Services, Inc., (Bay State) will remove the solid waste material from the Sutton property and pay a $22,500 civil penalty for violations of the Solid Waste and False Claims Acts. Bay State will pay an additional $12,500 to the Commonwealth if the solid waste removal is not completed in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement.

"Companies that are awarded contracts for state and local projects, funded by taxpayer dollars must be held to the highest standard and not engage in such wanton behavior," said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The complaint filed with the settlement alleges that that Bay State entered into a contract with the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) to clean catch basins on highways where debris accumulates and to dispose of the catch basin cleanings in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) regulations. Bay State was also required to notify MHD of the location of the approved dump sites. The complaint further alleges that in June 2009, Bay State cleaned catch basins on Route 146 and dumped approximately 17, five-yard loads of catch basin cleanings on private property in Sutton in violation of the Solid Waste Act. By disposing of the catch basin cleanings on private property in Sutton in breach of the contract with MHD and by subsequently accepting payment from the MHD, Bay State knowingly presented a false claim for payment to the Commonwealth.

"For a contractor to seek from the Commonwealth the job of collecting street sweepings and catch basin cleanouts, and then illegally dispose of that solid waste is not acceptable," said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. "It is entirely appropriate that in addition to the penalty, the company will clean up the entire site where it inexcusably dumped this material."

Assistant Attorney General Betsy Harper from of AG Coakley's Environmental Protection Division handled the case. Mary Jude Pigsley and Lynn Welsh handled the case for MassDEP.

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