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Be warned!  Numerous facilities in the state of Massachusetts have been recently inspected by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and found to be in non-compliance with their air quality and other permits.  As a result, MassDEP has issued violations and negotiated fines of thousands of dollars to settle the cases. 

Bakeries and coffee roasting operations are said to be among the types of operations being targeted for inspection and likely penalties, but the list does not stop there.  Some of the most recent enforcement settlements by the MassDEP include:

  • $5,000 penalty and additional application fees levied for failure to obtain an air quality plan approval.  An electric transmission company self reported their failure to obtain an air quality plan approval for an emergency engine, and the company was cited to be in violation with air quality regulations of the state of Massachusetts and under the terms of the consent order, the company is required to submit an air quality plan application to MassDEP that includes compliance modeling for this engine, including one-hour NOx (nitrogen oxide) emission standard and a noise-impact analysis. Further, the company must utilize ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel (less than 5 ppm sulfur). Additionally, it must install a non-turn back hour meter, pay twice the application fees and install a stack silencer and restrict testing hours to 300 daytime hours per year or less.
  • $18,000 penalty assessed for failure to obtain an air quality plan approval. The auto body shop charged with the penalty also failed to comply with hazardous waste management requirements and illegally discharged industrial wastewater to an unapproved well. 
  • $6,900 penalty for recordkeeping violations.  A multi-media inspection of a pharmaceutical company revealed air quality and hazardous waste management violations specifically with regard to container labeling, training plan, emergency contingency plan and storage area requirements.
  • $8,400 penalty for failure to obtain an air quality plan approval.  During an inspection by MassDEP, a commercial baking company was found to require a written plan approval from MassDEP. In addition to the payment of cited penalties, the consent order required the bakery to submit a completed plan application, and take immediate actions to address/correct all additional violations identified in the order
  • $2,000 penalty for illegal burning.  A dairy facility was found to be in violation of air regulations because it had disposed, by burning, accumulated pallets and miscellaneous wood waste and solid waste. As part of a settlement agreement, the company agreed to remove the material from the property and not burn solid waste on site.

If you have concerns about your compliance status, an audit of your facility can evaluate compliance and develop a plan to address any potential non-compliance activities at your site. Trinity Consultants has the experience working with many clients in Massachusetts and is therefore well poised to assist your facility in determining current compliance and identifying any potential gaps.  For assistance, please contact Trinity’s New Jersey office at 732-356-9121.