Billerica Firm Pays $62,500 to Settle Methuen Illegal Dumping Claims

Maura Healey

A Billerica waste-hauling firm has paid $62,500 to settle claims that it illegally dumped multiple loads of construction and demolition waste at an unpermitted site in Methuen, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday.

According to the complaint filed Thursday, along with the consent judgment in Suffolk Superior Court, W. L. French Excavating Corp. allegedly violated the state’s solid waste disposal laws by dumping 29 loads of construction and demolition waste, including concrete, bricks, and asphalt at the site over a period of 14 days.A separate complaint was also filed against New Hampshire-based waste removal company Gigs, LLC, for allegedly dumping more than 244 loads of construction and demolition debris at the Battye site over a period of 45 days.

“We allege these companies violated state law by improperly disposing of construction waste at this unauthorized site,” Healey said. “Our office will continue to pursue waste haulers who do not comply with regulatory requirements to ensure that solid waste is properly disposed of and does not end up in illegal dumping grounds.”

According to the complaints, Thomas Battye, the owner of the Methuen site on Old Ferry Road, never applied for or received the site assignment from the Methuen Board of Health needed to operate a solid waste facility there and did not receive the necessary solid waste management facility permit from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“The disposal of solid waste materials must be done properly and at facilities that are approved or permitted to accept those materials,” said DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The illegal dumping of solid waste undermines the laws that have been put in place to protect the Commonwealth and its residents.”

Under the terms of the consent judgment, W. L. French paid a total of $62,500, including a $57,500 payment into a special fund established by the commonwealth to help with the cost of site evaluation and subsequent cleanup work at the Battye site, along with a $5,000 civil penalty. The settlement also prohibits W. L. French from unlawfully handling, storing or disposing of construction and demolition waste or other solid waste in the future.

The complaint against Gigs seeks civil penalties for alleged violations of the state’s Solid Waste Management Act, along with a permanent injunction requiring that the company remove and properly dispose of solid waste it unlawfully disposed of at the site.

Battye was the subject of a separate action brought by the Commonwealth related to solid waste violations at the Methuen site. The attorney general’s office is also pursuing claims against additional waste haulers and demolition contractors who dumped or contracted for solid waste disposal at the Battye site.

In December 2013, Dynamic Waste Systems, Inc. agreed to pay more than $93,000 to settle claims that it illegally dumped multiple loads of construction and demolition waste at the site.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Goldberg of Healey’s Environmental Protection Division handled the case, with assistance from DEP Environmental Analysts Mark Fairbrother, John MacAuley, Karen Golden-Smith; Wetlands Analyst Elizabeth Sabounjian; and MassDEP attorney Colleen McConnell, all from DEP’s Northeast Regional Office.