BOSTON — The state Department of Environmental Protection has fined a Pittsfield-based general contractor and one of its employees for violating state solid waste, asbestos and wetlands regulations in a dumping incident that took place in Pittsfield.
Diplacon Builders and employee Jose Saldana were both fined for the incident, which took place at property that Saldana owns at 65-67 Taylor St. Saldana was fined $26,100, and Diplacon Builders $8,175. Both parties will be required to pay only $7,500; the suspension of a portion of the penalties is subject to both parties fully complying with MassDEP’s regulations and consent order conditions.
In June 2020, MassDEP received a complaint from a citizen through the Berkshire Environmental Action Team that several truckloads, amounting to 40 cubic yards, of construction and demolition debris had been dumped at the rear of the Taylor Street property within 100 feet of the west branch of the Housatonic River. MassDEP’s sampling of the demolition debris, which included wood, metal and roofing materials, indicated the presence of asbestos-containing waste materials.
At the time, a unilateral order was issued to Saldana, the owner of the property, requiring the removal of all waste materials there within seven days. But, Saldana did not immediately comply with the timelines for cleanup specified in the order. The removal of the demolition debris was not completed until Aug. 19, 2020.
Further investigation performed by MassDEP determined that the waste dumped there was generated by a Diplacon Builders home roofing renovation project, and that the waste materials were transported and dumped at the Taylor Street property by employees of Diplacon Builders at the direction of its president, Paul Saldana.
“The dumping of construction and demolition debris, particularly waste that contains asbestos, in close proximity to residences and a sensitive river is disturbing,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. “MassDEP worked to ensure that the debris was cleaned up and the area restored. These settlements require payment of substantial penalties and emphasize the need for the involved parties to arrange for legal disposal of waste materials generated at construction sites.”