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Press Release Former South Deerfield Water Superintendent Surrenders License and Pays Penalties Over Altered Water Quality Reports and Illegal Asbestos Work

Defendant to Pay $200,000 in Civil Penalties; Water Supply District will Take Measures to Improve Public Water System
For immediate release:
10/01/2021
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Media Contact for Former South Deerfield Water Superintendent Surrenders License and Pays Penalties Over Altered Water Quality Reports and Illegal Asbestos Work

Chloe Gotsis

BOSTON The former superintendent of the South Deerfield Water Supply District (SDWSD) surrendered his professional water license, is barred from any public water supply work, and will pay $200,000 in civil penalties to settle claims he illegally altered water quality reports submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and illegally handled and removed asbestos during an emergency pipe repair, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The water district will also adopt a series of improvement measures to the public water system.

“Our residents deserve clean drinking water and the superintendent responsible for South Deerfield’s water quality and the water district failed them,” AG Healey said. “By not complying with our state’s asbestos laws, they also put the health of their employees and the public at risk. We will hold accountable those who violate our important laws designed to protect the public from contaminants in our water and from the dangers of asbestos.”

“Public Water Systems rely upon certified operators to properly manage their systems and accurately monitor and report water quality in their systems in order to ensure that customers are provided clean, safe drinking water,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “When certified operators submit altered reports and improperly manage their systems, they violate the public trust and may place customers at risk, MassDEP must hold the certified operator and other responsible parties accountable.”

The consent judgments, entered in Suffolk Superior Court, settles allegations that Roger Sadoski, Jr., and SDWSD violated the Massachusetts Clean Air Act and the Massachusetts Safe Drinking Water Act and their implementing regulations. The AG’s complaint alleges that, from 2014 through 2018, Sadoski and SDWSD failed to report to MassDEP the level of chlorine and the turbid quality in the district’s public water system by repeatedly altering the district’s water quality records and monthly reports before submitting them to MassDEP. Additionally, according to the AG’s complaint, in 2018, during an emergency pipe break at Long Plain Road in South Deerfield, the defendants, under Sadowski’s direction, allegedly illegally handled and removed asbestos containing transite pipe, polluting the air and putting the health of SDWSD staff and the public at risk.

SDWSD is a public water system that supplies water to 3,800 residents in South Deerfield and a portion of Whately. The district maintains and treats surface waters from local reservoirs to ensure that it’s fit to use for drinking water, including by filtering out particles and disinfecting any particles that would make it unsafe for the public.

As part of the settlements, Sadoski will pay a civil penalty of $200,000 and surrender his professional water license, and he is prohibited from any professional involvement with the public water supply. SDWSD will implement a series of preventive measures to ensure high water quality for the residents of South Deerfield and the portion of Whately SDWSD serves. Among other measures, SDWSD will undertake regular water quality and asbestos audits, performed by third party auditors, and training for SDWSD employees.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Laila Atta of AG Healey’s Energy and Environment Bureau, with assistance from Chief Enforcement Counsel of MassDEP’s Environmental Strike Force Pamela Talbot, MassDEP Strike Force Investigator Tim Dame, and the Deputy Regional Director of MassDEP’s Western Office Brian Harrington. 

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Media Contact for Former South Deerfield Water Superintendent Surrenders License and Pays Penalties Over Altered Water Quality Reports and Illegal Asbestos Work

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

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