For Immediate Release - April 07, 2017

MassDEP Assesses $21,789 Penalty to Birch Point Paper Products of Fitchburg for Hazardous Waste and Waste Reporting Violations

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $21,789 penalty to Birch Point Paper Products, Inc. of Fitchburg for violating the Environmental Results Program (ERP) and Hazardous Waste regulations at its printing facility located at 750 Crawford Street.   

During an inspection on April 15, 2016, MassDEP personnel found that the company had disposed of ignitable, hazardous waste clean-up solvent containing toluene and acetone to the sanitary sewer line. The company also did not determine whether its waste rags containing solvent and ink were hazardous wastes, did not properly label containers of waste ink, and did not submit the ERP Printer Compliance Certification form for 2015. Birch Point Paper has since stopped the discharge, submitted the required ERP certification form, and is correcting the remaining violations.

A recent consent order assessed the $21,789 penalty, with $5,789 to be paid to the Commonwealth. The order also directs $16,000 of the penalty towards a Supplemental Environmental Project, involving the purchase of thermal imaging cameras, truck chargers and other equipment for the Fitchburg Fire Department.

"The disposal of hazardous, ignitable waste down the sewer is very dangerous and must never be allowed because of the explosion potential and the harm it can cause to the public wastewater treatment system," said Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "To demonstrate its good faith in rectifying the violations, the company has adopted new waste-handling procedures and is purchasing equipment for the Fitchburg Fire Department that will enhance the safety of firefighters."

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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