Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has announced that two recycling companies, Allied Recycling Center Inc. and Recycling Walpole LLC, have agreed to pay a total of $125,000 for allegedly filling and excavating protected wetlands and improperly handling the storage of solid and hazardous waste materials at a recycling facility in Walpole, Mass.
Under terms of the consent judgment, entered in Suffolk (Mass.) Superior Court, the two companies also will restore wetlands, properly dispose of the solid and asbestos-containing waste and correct any handling, storage or reporting of oil or hazardous waste materials at the site.
“Wetlands serve important environmental functions and those who damage or destroy these valuable resources will be held accountable,” says Coakley. “We are pleased that this settlement will ensure wetlands restoration and the cleanup of hazardous waste materials dumped on the property.”
According to the complaint, the two companies had been illegally filling and altering wetland areas at and near their 17-acre property since as early as 1988, including wetlands subject to a conservation restriction recorded in 1976.
The complaint says the companies failed to properly label, store and handle oil and gasoline and failed to report releases of oil at the site to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Additionally, the complaint alleges the companies have been receiving construction and demolition materials and scrap wood without a permit and failed to properly dispose of materials containing asbestos.
In addition to paying the civil penalty, the settlement requires the defendants to restore 1.5 acres of bordering vegetated wetlands and 176 linear feet of a stream, much of which is on town-owned, conservation restricted land.
The defendants also must assess the historic and recent solid waste at the site and design and implement a closure plan, assess the site for asbestos-containing waste and proper disposal and correct any handling, storageor reporting violations of oil or hazardous waste materials at the site.