Firm Used ’93 Truckloads’ Of Harmful Waste For RI Highway Project: AG
RI AG Peter Neronha says Canton, Massachusetts, company, Barletta Heavy Division Inc., made the state a dumping ground for Bay State waste.
PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha issued charges on Wednesday against a Massachusetts construction company and its project manager, he said used harmful waste in the soil and stone on the Route 6-Route 10 construction project and tried to cover it up.
Neronha charged Canton, Massachusetts-based Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. with two counts of illegal disposal of solid waste, one count of operating a solid waste management facility without a license, and one count of providing fake documents to a public official.
Dennis Ferreira, 62, of Holliston, Massachusetts, faced the same charges, as the former superintendent of the 6/10 project.
According to Neronha, the company, under Ferreira’s direction, stored contaminated stone in Jamaica Plain, MA, from an MBTA project the firm was hired for. The stone contained arsenic and other chemicals consistent with what’s found in a railyard. He said Barletta transported 93 truckloads of contaminated stone from Massachusetts to Rhode Island during a 15-day period and used the 3,460 tons of stone in the Route 6-Route 10 project.
According to Neronha, Ferreira also used harmful waste left over from the new Pawtucket-Central Falls train station in the 6/10 project.
Neronha said the Rhode Island Department of Transportation discovered the violations after noticing railroad spikes and other materials in the soil and stone.
“They made Rhode Island a dumping ground for Massachusetts waste,” Neronha said. “Their actions come at the expense of Rhode Islanders’ public health and their environment.”
During Wednesday’s news conference, Neronha was asked if the contaminated fill now needed to be removed. After speaking with environmental experts, Neronha said digging up the contaminated fill poses a greater public health risk than leaving it in place.
“What concerns me, of course, is, what happens when work needs to be done on that site down the road?” Neronha told reporters. “There will certainly have to be steps in place to deal with the contamination then.”
Barletta and Ferreira are scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 1 in Providence County Superior Court. If convicted, Barletta faces $25,000 fines for each day the waste was on the construction site.