Statement Regarding The Conclusion of Litigation Pertaining to Alleged Disposal of
Asbestos-Contaminated Soil from New York Avenue Utility Corridor Project
Framingham, MA – The Town of Framingham welcomes the conclusion of this matter with today’s entry of the consent judgment by the court. The Town remains disappointed that materials from a Town project could have been disposed of improperly, given the reasonable expectations the Town had in the contractor and engineer we hired to make sure that would not happen. “While the incident was regrettable, I am proud of the way the Town responded, cooperating fully with the Commonwealth and with the other parties involved to comprehensively address the off-site contamination, and the statutory process to address the contamination was a resounding success,” said Town Manager, Robert Halpin. The parties were able to resolve their various legal claims against each other relatively quickly, and the site in Milford was fully remediated with the involvement and approval of MassDEP several years ago.
Peter Sellers, Executive Director of the Framingham Public Works added, “over the past several years, working with the Commonwealth, and conducting our own internal review of our project management and waste management procedures, the Framingham Department of Public Works identified and implemented various practices and expectations for project engineers and contractors, as well as the Town’s own staff, to enhance the proper disposal of waste materials from Town projects going forward. Many of these updated protocols were implemented seamlessly and have been in use over the past several construction seasons, with excellent results as there have been no further incidents of alleged improper disposal despite the number of complex Town construction projects that continue to go forward each year.”
With this resolution of the Commonwealth’s statutory claims against the Town and the other parties in today’s consent judgment, the final step in this successful process has been completed, and all at a minimal cost to the ratepayers of Framingham due to the Town’s strong contractual protections and the Town’s cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office and MassDEP throughout the process. The Town incurred minimal defense costs, most of them reimbursed, the site remediation costs were primarily paid by the project contractor and engineer, and the Commonwealth has agreed through this consent judgment to impose no monetary penalty at all against the Town provided there are no statutory violations over the next 3 years, a benchmark the Town is confident it will achieve with the rigorous protocols that are already in place. We believe the result reached is a positive one because it fully addresses the contamination and is fair and equitable to the Town and its ratepayers.