Walpole Recycling Companies Agree to Pay $125,000 Over Wetlands and Solid Waste Violations at Scrapyard
BOSTON – Two recycling companies have agreed to pay $125,000 for allegedly filling and excavating protected wetlands, and improperly handling the storage of solid and hazardous waste materials at a scrapyard in Walpole, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Under the terms of the consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court, Allied Recycling Center, Inc., and Recycling Walpole LLC will restore wetlands, properly dispose of the solid and asbestos-containing waste, and correct any handling, storage, or reporting of oil or hazardous waste materials at the site.
“Wetlands serve important environmental functions and those who damage or destroy these valuable resources will be held accountable,” AG Coakley said. “We are pleased that this settlement will ensure wetlands restoration and the cleanup of hazardous waste materials dumped on the property.”
“We count on our businesses here to treat our natural resources with respect and to comply with the laws that make Massachusetts a great place to live,” said Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “When they don’t, MassDEP and the Attorney General’s Office work hand-in-hand to assure justice and remediation.”
According to the complaint, the companies had 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 handle oil and gasoline and failed to report releases of oil at the site to MassDEP. Additionally, the complaint alleges that the companies have been receiving construction and demolition waste and wood waste without a permit and failed to properly dispose of materials containing asbestos.
In addition to the payment of the $125,000 civil penalty, the settlement requires the defendants to restore approximately an acre-and-a-half of bordering vegetated wetlands and 176 linear feet of a stream, much of which is on town-owned, conservation restricted land. Additionally, the defendants must assess the historic and recent solid waste at the site and design and implement a closure plan, assess the site for asbestos-containing waste and proper disposal, and correct any handling, storage, or reporting violations of oil or hazardous waste materials at the site.
Assistant Attorney General Louis Dundin of Attorney General Coakley’s Environmental Protection Division handled the case. Heidi Zisch of MassDEP’s Office of General Counsel and Marc LaPlante, Eric Worrall, Susan Ruch, Mark Fairbrother, Scott Fasulo, John Macauley, Wayne Lozzi, Robert Johnson, Michael Abell, Elizabeth Sabounjian, and John Carrigan handled the case for MassDEP.