A Sun Staff Report
BOSTON -- The state Department of Environmental Protection has assessed a penalty of $21,400 to Landtree Design, Inc., and property owners David J. Babin and Janet M. Babin, for violating oil and hazardous materials cleanup regulations for a release of oil at 93 Hollis St., in Pepperell.
MassDEP found that the company and owners failed to report the oil release, obtain approval prior to conducting cleanup actions, and properly store contaminated soils that were excavated.
On Oct. 31, 2017, approximately 80 gallons of fuel oil was released from an aboveground storage tank at Landtree’s business office. MassDEP was informed of the spill by an anonymous caller on Nov. 1 when Landtree and the Babins failed to notify MassDEP within two hours as required for oil spills greater than 10 gallons.
An inspection on Nov. 6 by MassDEP with the Pepperell Fire Department and Board of Health confirmed that a reportable spill had occurred and contaminated soil had been excavated and stored improperly at the property without MassDEP knowledge or approval. Following the inspection, additional oil-contaminated soil was excavated and testing of soil and groundwater was conducted. A final cleanup report was received by MassDEP in December 2017, verifying that cleanup standards had been met.
“Businesses operating within the commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as property owners must provide prompt notification to MassDEP and seek approval to conduct cleanup actions in the event of an oil release to the environment,” said Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester. “This is necessary to ensure whatever cleanup actions they take are, in fact, done properly in the interest of public health, safety, welfare and the environment.”
In addition to the administrative penalty, the company and property owners have agreed to provide training in proper oil spill notification and response and provide certification of the training to MassDEP.
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.
The Sun could not immediately reach anyone from Landtree Designs.