For Immediate Release - August 17, 2006

Leominster Drinking Water Supply Operator Voluntarily Surrenders License

Leominster Drinking Water Supply Operator Voluntarily Surrenders License

The Massachusetts Board of Certification of Operators of Drinking Water Supply Facilities has fined Matthew S. Marro $2,500 and accepted the voluntary surrender of his Drinking Water Supply Facilities Operator License as of July 28, 2006.

The Board received a complaint from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on March 8, 2006 regarding Matthew Marro's operation of the city of Leominster's drinking water supply facilities. After careful consideration of the complaint, the Board voted to summarily suspend Marro's license on March 10, 2006. Marro subsequently waived his right to hearing within 10 days of his suspension.

In response to the Board's summary suspension, Marro has voluntarily surrendered his license. Marro has admitted that while he was the primary certified operator of the city of Leominster's drinking water supply facilities, he obtained data from the Fallbrook Lab using techniques that neither Marro nor the Lab were certified to perform. Marro reported this invalid data to DEP on 40 different occasions from February 2002 through September 2005.

Marro also has admitted that he failed to submit fecal coliform data for the city of Leominster drinking water supply system to DEP for compliance purposes in July and August 2002 and June and July 2003. In addition to these omissions of data, Marro has admitted that from January 2004 through August 2004, he reported unusually uniform pH and temperature readings for the city of Leominster drinking water supply. Furthermore, he has admitted that the validity of this data is questionable. Additionally, Marro has admitted that he failed to timely notify DEP on at least one occasion about low disinfectant measurements exceeding four hours in Leominster's water supply. Receipt of such measurements should have triggered his issuance of an advisory to the city of Leominster that the water supply was unsafe to drink until the appropriate disinfectant levels had been reestablished. Finally, Marro has admitted that he failed to accurately and timely report turbidity levels for the Notown and Fallbrook treatment plants in Leominster.

In addition to working as the primary certified operator of the city of Leominster's public water system, Marro also was the primary certified operator of the Meadow Woods Mobile Home Park Water Supply System. Marro admitted he failed to submit several key compliance data measurements for the Meadow Woods Mobile Home Park water supply system to DEP, including perchlorate, microscopic particulate and bacteria levels.

Based on the above, Marro has admitted that he committed gross misconduct, failed to use reasonable care or judgment in the performance of his duties, and failed to comply with applicable federal or state laws, as described in the Board's rules and regulations, and has agreed to voluntarily surrender his license to practice as a Drinking Water Supply Facilities Operator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and pay a $2500.00 fine.

The Board of Certification of Drinking Water Supply Facilities Operators licenses approximately 4,297 drinking water supply facilities operators throughout the Commonwealth. In Fiscal Year 2006, the Board received 26 complaints and resolved eight complaints from this and previous fiscal years. The Board entered into two consent agreements, placing one license on probation and fined one licensee.

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure's website at www.mass.gov/reg and select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional with whom they are considering doing business is licensed and in good standing.

The Division of Professional Licensure is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. It is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the licensing process for 43 trades and professions regulated by 29 boards of registration, the updating and renewal of approximately 333,000 licenses and the maintenance of databases for licensing, enforcement, and revenue collection. In fiscal year 2006, the Division of Professional Licensure imposed record levels of enforcement, including 1,364 disciplinary actions, $209,591 in fines and returned more than $6,403 in refunds to consumers.