- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Sewage Disposal Company Sued for Illegally Dumping Waste into Millbury’s Sewers, Failing to Pay Disposal Fees
Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that her office has sued a Millbury sewage disposal company over claims of illegally dumping septage and waste into the town’s sewer system to avoid paying fees to the regional wastewater facility.
The AG’s complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday, alleges that Midstate Sewerage violated the state’s Clean Waters Act and Title 5 of the State Environmental Code when it failed to discharge its waste directly into the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District treatment facility in Auburn. The lawsuit further alleges that Midstate violated the state’s False Claims Act by making misrepresentations to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) about its compliance with a state contract to transport the waste to the facility, and for failing to pay thousands of dollars in disposal fees to the wastewater facility.
“We allege this company orchestrated an illegal scheme, that cost the residents of Millbury, risked the integrity of the sewer system, and created an unfair business advantage over its competitors,” said AG Healey. “We will take action against companies who skirt our state laws and regulations for their own profit.”
The complaint also alleges that Midstate Sewerage illegally installed an unauthorized septage storage tank at its own Millbury facility, and violated the state’s Hazardous Waste Management Act by failing to register with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as a generator of waste oil, along with illegally handling and disposing the waste oil offsite.
“Polluted septage and wastewater must be disposed of at treatment facilities,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Dumping these materials directly into sewers can cause pollutants to adversely impact the integrity of our rivers and streams. This case sends the message that it pays to manage waste materials properly.”
The Massachusetts Clean Waters Act and Title 5, which regulates septic systems, require septage transport companies to comply with local sewer rules. The Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District local rules only permit septage haulers to discharge waste directly into the treatment facilities where the waste can be logged and where 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.
Through this lawsuit the AG’s office is seeking substantial civil penalties, damages, and an injunction requiring the company to comply with state laws.
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.