Local environmental labs to pay after pollution allegations

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – One environmental testing lab in Agawam and one in East Longmeadow will have to pay $350,000 each as part of a settlement with the state, for allegedly violating Massachusetts’ air pollution laws and regulations.

Spectrum Analytical, Inc. of Agawam and Con-Test Analytical Laboratory in East Longmeadow are two of four Massachusetts environmental testing companies that the state accused of failing to obtain proper permits and control their hazardous air pollutant emissions.

Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Tuesday announced the settlement on Tuesday. In addition to the fines, the labs will have to put into place emission control equipment for sample analyses. This equipment is designed to decrease emissions by about 95%.

“These settlements will result in dramatic and cost-effective reductions to protect the health of communities in the Commonwealth,” Coakley said in a statement sent to 22News. “We hope that these actions will spur a national discussion about controlling laboratory-sector hazardous air pollution emissions.”

In addition to the two western Massachusetts labs, Accutest Laboratories of New England, which operates in Marlborough will pay $350,000, and the largest settlement payment, $700,000, will come from Alpha Analytical, which maintains facilities in Westborough and Mansfield.

The state alleged that the four companies were “major sources” of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions. The chemical methylene chloride (DCM), which is used in paint stripping and metal cleaning, was the pollutant emitted in the largest volume, the Attorney General’s office says.

Spectrum Analytical, located on Herbert P. Almgren Drive in Agawam, provides testing services for hazardous waste, drinking water, industrial wastewater, soil, solid waste, and air.

Con-Test Analytical Laboratory is located on Spruce Avenue in East Longmeadow. They analyze air, water, soil, and solid waste.

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