For Immediate Release - June 06, 2017

MassDEP Issues $30,000 Penalty to Shah Property Corp. for Waste Site Cleanup Violations at Abandoned Commercial Property in Westfield

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $30,000 penalty on the Shah Property Corporation for violating state oil and hazardous materials cleanup regulations at their property located at 41 Jefferson Street in Westfield.

The site is an abandoned commercial property that had been historically occupied by three machine companies and an industrial laundry service, which also provided dry cleaning services.  Shah Property failed to conduct the necessary assessment and remediation of the soil and groundwater at the site.

In April 2000, the owner of an adjacent property filed a Downgradient Property Status document with MassDEP, demonstrating that petroleum contamination of its soil and groundwater originated from the 41 Jefferson Street site. Preliminary response actions were performed by the property owner at that time. Prior to obtaining ownership of the property, Shah Property contacted MassDEP and was notified that although preliminary response action had been conducted at the site in the past, additional work is necessary before the site could be closed out under the Massachusetts cleanup regulations.

On January 20, 2011, Shah Property purchased the site and on April 22, 2011, MassDEP issued a notice to Shah Property, which documented the legal responsibilities under state laws to perform the cleanup actions necessary to address the release of oil and/or hazardous material at the site.  Shah Property did not conduct the response actions as required by MassDEP.

This failure was detailed in a Notice of Noncompliance that MassDEP issued to Shah Property in 2014. MassDEP's 2014 notice established new deadlines to complete the required assessment and remediation. Shah Property failed to comply with the new deadlines established in the notice and failed to participate in an enforcement conference scheduled to discuss the violation in 2016.

As a result of the repeated failure to conduct the necessary work or to respond to MassDEP, a Penalty Assessment Notice in the amount of $30,000 was issued along with a Unilateral Order, which sets a schedule for Shah Property to come into compliance by conducting the necessary assessment and cleanup to bring the site to closure.  

"MassDEP has made numerous attempts to assist Shah Property Corporation in complying with Massachusetts environmental regulations to clean up this property," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. "It is regrettable that failure to work cooperatively to address the necessary cleanup at the abandoned property has resulted in the assessment of this penalty."

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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