For Immediate Release - April 02, 2012

Middleborough Landowner Agrees to Clean Up Oil Spill, Pay $38,000 for Delay

BOSTON – A settlement has been reached with a Middleborough property owner to ensure that oil and hazardous material released on site has been properly cleaned up and does not present a risk to human health and the environment, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.  The settlement is part of an ongoing effort by the Attorney General’s Office and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to force the cleanup of hazardous sites in accordance with the Commonwealth’s environmental laws. 

Under the settlement filed in Suffolk Superior Court, James H. Pollack, Jr. must pay a $38,000 civil penalty to the Commonwealth for ignoring MassDEP’s clean-up order and for violating the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention and Response Act.  

“The law requires individuals responsible for the release of oil or hazardous material into the environment to conduct and pay for the cleanup of their contaminated properties in accordance with the Commonwealth’s environmental laws,” AG Coakley said. 

“Whenever companies or individuals are found responsible for contamination, and repeatedly try to avoid their obligation to clean up oil and hazardous materials, we will work with the state’s Attorney General, so that the proper cleanup is done, penalties are issued, and taxpayers won’t have to bear the cost of another cleanup,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Kenneth Kimmell.

According to the lawsuit, the Middleborough property was formerly used for manufacturing.  The property was the site of an oil spill from an underground tank, resulting in the release of gallons of oil into the environment.  Soil and groundwater samples taken from the property confirmed that oil and other hazardous materials had contaminated the site.  Following an environmental assessment report, MassDEP confirmed the release of hazardous material on the property and listed the site on the Transition List.  

The lawsuit further alleges that despite repeated compliance demands from MassDEP, Pollok ignored orders to clean up the release of oil from his property that contaminated the surrounding soil and groundwater. 

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Brock and Paralegal Jennifer Faillace of Attorney General Coakley’s Environmental Protection Division, and John Handrahan, from MassDEP’s Southeast Regional Office, and Rebecca Tobin, from MassDEP's Office of General Counsel.

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