BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has fined Airfreight Express Corp. of Andover $33,000 for failing to take actions to address a release of diesel fuel to the environment from one of its vehicles following a motor vehicle accident in 2016 and for failing to submit to MassDEP any of the required documents concerning the fuel spill.
On August 22, 2016 at 6:20 a.m., the Massachusetts State Police notified MassDEP that a sudden release of diesel fuel had occurred on Interstate 495 northbound at the Massachusetts Turnpike exit ramp. An estimated 100 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a tractor-trailer unit owned and operated by Airfreight Express Corp. following a motor vehicle accident. The spill impacted the roadway and soil at the site.
The company is required to notify MassDEP within two hours of the spill, and failed to do so. The company was also responsible for hiring a cleanup contractor to address the spill, but indicated it was unable to do so, and MassDEP hired a state contractor to complete the cleanup. Over the next 18 months, the company also missed a number of required deadlines to file reports with MassDEP concerning the spill, its classification, and its eventual assessment and final remediation status.
“Operators of commercial vehicles involved in motor vehicle accidents must take prompt action to address releases of fuel oils that are released to the environment,” said Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester. “This includes filing all necessary plans and documents to ensure proper cleanup of any spilled fuel or oils in the interest of public health, safety, welfare and the environment.”
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.