The Town of Andover will get $65,000 after a North Andover waste services company was found to be committing multiple environmental violations.
The money came as a result of a $7.5 million settlement reached on May 2 by Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Department of Environmental Protection.
Operating out of three locations including one in North Andover, waste incinerator Wheelabrator started raising suspicions in the Attorney General’s office after they received multiple reports of violations at the company’s sites in Saugus and North Andover.
Investigators found that Wheelabrator facilities in Saugus and North Andover were not treating and disposing ash as outlined in state and federal law. According to a press release from the Attorney General, the actions violated the Hazardous Waste Management Act and Clean Air Act.
“These recoveries are rightfully owed to communities that contracted with Wheelabrator,” Coakley said in a statement. “Especially during these times when municipalities are dealing with difficult budget cuts, these refunds should help support essential services.”
The attorney general said that the violations created liability for the towns contracted with Wheelabrator and prompted a $3.5 million Municipal Relief Fund, out of which Andover and other communities were paid.
According to a press release, the total $7.5 million settlement was split up as divided below:
- $4.5 million to create a Municipal Relief Fund, $3.5 million of which the AG’s Office will distribute to municipalities, after paying a statutory share to the whistleblowers who brought the matter to the government’s attention;
- Two payments totaling $2 million for civil penalties arising from multiple environmental violations;
- $500,000 donation to the Massachusetts Natural Resource Damages Trust; and
- $500,000 for a supplemental environmental project or projects, to be approved by MassDEP and the AGO, designed to improve the environment in the vicinity of Wheelabrator facilities.