MassDEP officials announced that a Pittsfield contractor is facing thousands of dollars in fines for allegedly illegally dumping waste on a residential property near the Housatonic River.

WWLP/22 News Springfield reports the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced it has fined both Pittsfield-based general contractor Diplacon Builders Inc. and an employee, Jose Saldana, for violations of the state’s solid waste, asbestos, and wetlands regulations for dumping.

The dumping occurred at a property owned by Saldana at 65-67 Taylor Street in Pittsfield.

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In June of last year, a complaint was received by MassDEP from a local resident through the Berkshire Environmental Action Team after 40-cubic-yards of construction and demolition debris was seen dumped at the rear of the Taylor Street property within 100 feet of the Housatonic River.

Among the debris was metal and roofing materials, which when sampled by MassDEP, indicated the presence of asbestos-containing waste materials in a portion of the debris. At the time the debris was reported, Saldana was ordered to remove all the waste within seven days, though he failed to comply with the timetable provided by MassDEP.

Further investigation by MassDEP determined that the waste dumped there was generated by a Diplacon Builders home roofing renovation project. The waste was transported and dumped at the Taylor Street property by employees of Diplacon Builders at the direction of its president, Paul Saldana.

Saldana was fined $26,100 by MassDEP and ordered to pay at least $7,500 if he complies with the order. MassDEP also fined Diplacon Builders $8,125, and the company will pay $7,500, with the balance suspended pending Diplacon’s future compliance.

Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield had this to say:

The dumping of construction and demolition debris, particularly waste that contains asbestos, in close proximity to residences and a sensitive river is disturbing. MassDEP worked to ensure that the debris was cleaned up and the area restored.

For more on the story, check it out at WWLP's website here.

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