- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for AG’s Office Reaches Settlement With Sewage Disposal Company for Illegally Dumping Waste Into Millbury Sewers and Failing to Pay Fees
BOSTON — A Millbury sewage disposal company will pay up to $500,000 and will not seek or perform state or municipal contracts for two years to settle allegations that it illegally dumped septage and waste into the town’s sewer system to avoid paying fees to the regional wastewater facility, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court on Thursday, settles a 2018 lawsuit alleging Midstate Sewerage (Midstate) violated the state’s Clean Waters Act, Title 5 of the State Environmental Code, the False Claims Act, and the Hazardous Waste Management Act when it carried out a scheme to cut thousands of dollars in costs from its septage transportation business by disposing of its waste at the Millbury municipal sewer pump station, instead of properly paying disposal fees at the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District (District). The AG’s Office also alleges that Midstate lied to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) about its illegal disposal practices in order to receive payment under a state contract to transport and dispose of waste for MassDOT.
“This company planned and carried out an illegal scheme to cheat the system and gain an unfair business advantage over competitors who follow the state laws and regulations that protect our waterways and public health,” AG Healey said. “My office will continue to make sure that laws are enforced to protect our environment and the public.”
According to the complaint, Midstate and a related entity, LDI, LLC, also illegally installed and used an unauthorized septage storage tank at its Millbury facility and illegally handled and disposed of waste oil after failing to register with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as a generator.
“We expect all companies to play by the environmental rules and regulations and not seek an unfair business advantage that might threaten the environment and the public health,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “With the unauthorized pumping of waste into the local sewer system, the company intentionally avoided thousands of dollars in costs to transport and treat the waste at the Upper Blackstone treatment facility, and the significant penalty imposed today by the court emphasizes the severity of the violations uncovered by our investigation.”
The Massachusetts Clean Waters Act, Title 5, which regulates septic systems, and the District’s local sewer rules only permit septage haulers to discharge waste directly into the District’s facility where the waste can be logged and the hauler can pay for its waste. By avoiding payment of the fees to the facility, Midstate Sewerage shifted its share of the sewer system costs onto other paying users and prevented the facility from tracking its waste.
Under the terms of the settlement, Midstate will pay $500,000 in penalties and damages, of which $150,000 is suspended for two years pending compliance with the consent judgment. Midstate is also prohibited from seeking or performing any contracts with state or municipal entities for a two-year period. The company is required to remove the illegal unauthorized storage tank from its facility under MassDEP supervision.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Louis Dundin of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division, with the assistance of Regional Counsel Rebecca Tobin and Environmental Analysts Jennifer Macionus and Gregg Levins of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester.