- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for MassDEP Fines Mount Holyoke Management for Asbestos Violations
Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced it has fined Mount Holyoke Management LLC of Holyoke $35,670 for asbestos violations at the Greenfield Gardens Apartments, a 202-unit housing complex located on Pray Drive in Greenfield. MassDEP discovered the violations in February 2020 after receiving a tenant’s complaint describing renovations and disturbances of asbestos-containing materials in several apartment units, having commenced in the fall of 2019. Mount Holyoke manages day-to-day operations at the apartments and oversaw the renovation project at the apartment complex.
“Asbestos is a known carcinogen and it is imperative that asbestos in building materials be identified prior to renovations so that required work practices to protect tenants and construction workers can be implemented,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. “Although Mount Holyoke has worked with MassDEP to correct the violations and assess and, where necessary, clean the 37 housing units where renovation activities occurred, MassDEP has issued this penalty for failure to comply with required notification and work practices.”
On February 24 and 26, 2020, MassDEP performed inspections at the apartment complex, which revealed Mount Holyoke had arranged for renovation work that did not meet the requirements of MassDEP asbestos regulations. These activities disturbed building materials containing regulated amounts of asbestos, including floor tile, mastic and joint compound in multiple apartment units and laundry rooms, as well as roofing materials in roof systems. Asbestos-containing waste materials generated during these renovations were disposed of at off-site solid waste facilities not permitted to accept asbestos.
MassDEP subsequently ordered Mount Holyoke to cease renovation activities at the property, retain an asbestos inspector to assess all housing units where renovation activities had been undertaken and engage an asbestos contractor to remediate those units where an asbestos hazard was identified. Mount Holyoke complied with the order and has since implemented procedures for addressing asbestos-containing building materials prior to future renovations.
MassDEP fined Mount Holyoke Management $35,670, and the company will pay $10,000 with the balance suspended provided Mount Holyoke complies with MassDEP asbestos regulatory requirements during future renovations at the property.
Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials, notification requirements, proper removal, handling, packaging, storage and disposal procedures, or the Asbestos Regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office for assistance.
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.