For Immediate Release - April 18, 2014

Balise Motor Sales Co. Fined $5,000 for Hazardous Waste Violations at Springfield Auto Dealership

BOSTON - Balise Motor Sales Company has been penalized $5,000 by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for violations of hazardous waste management regulations at the Balise Chevrolet-GMC-Buick facility located at 440 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield.

On July 25, 2013, Balise notified MassDEP that a spill of an unknown amount of waste gasoline and waste oil had occurred exceeding the 10-gallon reportable quantity set in Massachusetts regulations. The release occurred while employees of Balise were removing debris from a solid waste storage area; four drums that contained mixtures of water, waste oil and gasoline were punctured. Waste motor oil and waste gasoline are regulated as hazardous waste by MassDEP.   

MassDEP staff immediately responded to inspect the facility and oversee the cleanup. It was observed that the spill had migrated south to an unpaved area and north across a paved area to a storm drain. Balise employees spread absorbent material on the paved areas impacted by the release, and MassDEP personnel installed absorbent materials within the storm drain system to contain the release. Balise retained an environmental contractor to complete cleanup of the spill.

During the response, MassDEP observed that the drums of hazardous waste involved in the spill were stored in an outdoor fenced area. Violations of hazardous waste management regulations observed by staff included: drums were not labeled as containing hazardous waste or waste oil; the area was not demarcated as being a hazardous waste storage area; signs noting that hazardous waste was stored in the area were not present; and no containment such as a dike or berm for spills was provided. Additionally, one container was bulging and in poor condition.

"Regulations require proper management of hazardous waste in order to prevent spills and protect public safety and the environment," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. "We are pleased that Balise has completed cleanup of the spill, and is taking steps to re-train its employees on hazardous waste management requirements."

After meeting with MassDEP to discuss the violations, Balise agreed to review and re-train employees on the requirements of their Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS was prepared by Balise in 2004 as part of a previous order and agreement with MassDEP. An EMS is a set of management processes and procedures providing an organization a systematic approach to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products and services in their daily operations. In addition, Balise agreed to pay a penalty of $5,000 for the violations.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

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