Owner of Westfield property ordered to pay $30K fine

Shah Property has owned Jefferson Street site since 2011

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The company that owns a former industrial property in Westfield has been ordered to pay $30,000 after the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection says it repeatedly failed to take necessary action to clean up the site.

In a news release sent to 22News Tuesday, the agency says that Shah Property, owners of 41 Jefferson Street, violated oil and hazardous materials cleanup regulations. The company has owned the parcel since 2011. It was formally the location of machine shops and an industrial laundry facility.

The property first came to MassDEP’s attention prior to Shah Property’s ownership. In 2000, a neighbor complained that oil contamination of nearby soil and groundwater was originating from the 41 Jefferson Street. The then-owner of the property took preliminary steps toward cleanup, and MassDEP says that they notified Shah Property of their obligations with respect to after when they bought the site in 2011.

The agency, however, says that Shah Property did not live up to its obligations, and they were given a notice of noncompliance in 2014, along with a set of new deadlines. Those deadlines came and went, and in 2016, the company was scheduled to have an enforcement conference, but Shah Property did not participate.

Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP’s Springfield office, said that the five-figure fine is a result of the repeated failures of the company to bring the property into compliance.

“MassDEP has made numerous attempts to assist Shah Property Corporation in complying with Massachusetts environmental regulations to clean up this property. It is regrettable that failure to work cooperatively to address the necessary cleanup at the abandoned property has resulted in the assessment of this penalty,” Gorski said.

In addition to the penalty, MassDEP has set a schedule for the owner to conduct assessment and cleanup for the site.