For Immediate Release - January 30, 2014

Ludlow Construction Company Fined $23,285 for Failing to Report Hydraulic Oil Spill at Greenfield Construction Site

BOSTON - Borges Construction, Inc. of Ludlow, and its president, Abilio Borges, have been assessed a $23,285 penalty by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for violation of oil spill notification regulations at a roadway construction project on Conway Street in Greenfield.

On May 24, 2013, MassDEP was notified by the Greenfield Fire Department of a spill of an unknown amount of hydraulic oil to the roadway and tree-belt area in the vicinity of 232 Conway Street. MassDEP personnel responded to the site and determined that more than 10 gallons of hydraulic fluid had been spilled. The investigation revealed that Borges was conducting roadway and sidewalk improvements when the spill occurred due to the failure of a hose on an excavator. Borges failed to notify the fire department or MassDEP of the spill. Massachusetts regulations require that spills of petroleum exceeding 10 gallons be reported to MassDEP within two hours, and that the cleanup be conducted with MassDEP approval.

MassDEP also determined that Borges had placed dirt on the roadway to absorb the oil, and had placed this contaminated dirt in an area where sidewalks would have been constructed over the contaminated dirt. At MassDEP's direction, Borges retained an environmental professional to oversee removal of the contaminated soil and ensure that the cleanup was performed in accordance with Massachusetts regulations.

In a recently finalized agreement, Borges will pay a penalty of $17,000 and provide retraining to its employees regarding notification requirements and appropriate response to releases of oil and hazardous materials. MassDEP has agreed to suspend the remaining $6,285 penalty, provided that Borges complies with the order.

"Not only did Borges fail to report the spill, they attempted to conceal the contaminated soil below sidewalks that were being constructed," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. "Fortunately, they agreed to cooperate and will re-train their employees on appropriate environmental responses to prevent this from occurring in the future."

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.