Coakley settles solid waste lawsuit
BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Friday that she has reached a $35,000 settlement with a construction company that allegedly violated the state's Solid Waste and False Claims Acts.
Bay State Construction Services, Inc., allegedly dumped solid waste material at a private property in Sutton and then illegally billed the State for the work.
Under terms of the agreement, Bay State is responsible for removing all of the solid waste material from the Sutton property and must pay a $22,500 civil penalty. It will also be required to pay $12,500 to the State if the solid waste removal is not completed according to the settlement terms.
"Companies that are awarded contracts for state and local projects, funded by taxpayer dollars must be held to the highest standard and not engage in such wanton behavior," Coakley said.
Bay State had entered into a contract with the Massachusetts Highway Department to clean catch basins on highways where debris accumulated and were to dispose the catch basin cleanings in accordance to the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Bay State was also required to notify the MHD of all approved dump sites.
In June 2009, Bay State allegedly cleaned catch basins on Route 146 and dumped approximately 17 five-yard loads of catch basin cleanings on the Sutton property, which violated the Solid Waste Act.
This action breached the contract with the MHD, Coakley says. By taking money for the job, the company was also in violation of the false claims act, Coakley says.
"For a contractor to seek from the Commonwealth the job of collecting street sweepings and catch basin cleanouts, and then illegally dispose of that solid waste is not acceptable," MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt said.
"It is entirely appropriate that in addition to the penalty, the company will clean up the entire site where it inexcusably dumped this material."