DEP fines ‘Mr. Home’ for environmental violations

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $64,000 penalty against William Sweeney of Wilbraham, doing business as Mr. Home, for violations of Massachusetts hazardous waste, air quality and solid waste regulations.

In August of 2009, MassDEP inspected Sweeney’s home repair business, located on Dumaine Street, in response to a Wilbraham Police Department complaint regarding the illegal disposal of waste oil. During the inspection, MassDEP discovered soil staining and buried liquid oil at the facility.

Further investigation revealed that employees of the business had transported waste oil to the facility from a job site located in Holyoke without possessing a hazardous waste transporter license. As a result of MassDEP’s investigation, Sweeney initiated the cleanup of the disposed oil.

MassDEP also investigated two Wilbraham Fire Department responses to the facility for open burning of building debris and incineration of demolition material.

As part of the settlement, Sweeney has agreed to cease transporting waste oil, discontinue open burning and incineration of solid waste, and to pay a penalty of $30,000. MassDEP agreed to suspend an additional $34,000 provided that Sweeney complies with the terms of the agreement.

In a related matter, MassDEP penalized Robert Gignilliat Jr. in the amount of $7,850 for violating state asbestos regulations. While employed by Mr. Home, but acting on his own, Gignilliat removed asbestos insulation from a Mr. Home job site located in Holyoke. Gignilliat failed to submit the appropriate asbestos notification, and failed to institute proper handling and disposal procedures.

“Deliberate noncompliance with regulation motivated by economic gain warrant a response that addresses the violations and a penalty that fully recovers the economic benefit,” Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP’s Western Regional Office in Springfield, said.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

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