- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for MassDEP Penalizes Realty Trustees $8,800 Each for Violations Involving Soil Excavation at Petroleum-Contaminated Site in Oxford
Joseph Ferson, Public Affairs Office
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized the former trustees of G & P Realty Trust/McCarthy Motor Sales at 217 Main Street in Oxford for waste site cleanup violations involving soil excavation at the site. John E. Guerin and George A. Phillips, the former owners/trustees, authorized soil excavation at the site in violation of state cleanup regulations.
An oil spill that was satisfactorily remediated in March of 1995 resulted in an activity and use limitation (AUL) being established and attached to the property deed by the Realty Trust under the stewardship of Guerin and Phillips. The AUL was required to limit exposure to the remaining residual contamination on-site. Despite being reminded of the AUL restrictions in 2011 and 2015, both Phillips and Guerin authorized soil excavation at the site in 2016 without first ensuring workers had the required protection, and without notifying MassDEP.
"Property owners are responsible for complying with notices of AUL limitations that are necessary to establish a condition of no significant risk at sites where contamination remains," said Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester, "For public health and safety reasons, owners of property with residual contamination must ensure that workers are aware of the contamination and take appropriate measures to conduct their work safely."
In July 2016, the Oxford Board of Health notified MassDEP of excavation being conducted at the site. A MassDEP inspection confirmed that Phillips and Guerin had authorized soil excavation as trustees for the property, but failed to ensure that workers were informed and properly trained as required by the AUL.
Phillips and Guerin have each agreed to pay separately $8,800 penalties for failing to comply with the conditions of the AUL.