MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News I-Team has a follow-up on the crumbling concrete issue impacting more than three dozen communities in western and central Massachusetts.
Lawmakers approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2024 budget that would require quarries in the state to be tested for pyrrhotite, the mineral that causes concrete to crumble when it’s exposed to oxygen and water. The only way to fix this is through a process that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance.
“We want to be addressing this as we are building homes or other facilities for people to live in. We want to make sure we are using quality materials,” explained Michelle Loglisci, a Monson homeowner who has a crumbling foundation.
The budget amendment would require MassDOT to create a new department and licensure process to oversee quarries that produce concrete aggregate in the state. This department would test to make sure the concrete being used does not contain pyrrhotite.
“If we decided to replace our foundation, we wouldn’t be putting bad concrete back into the new foundation,” said Loglisci. “You certainly want to make sure this is dealt with before we go too much further. The longer it goes without this testing, the longer we could be pouring foundations like this in Massachusetts.”
But, Governor Healey vetoed this amendment. In a letter to lawmakers, she makes it clear that she supports the legislation, but she doesn’t think the state can get it implemented by the original deadline of the end of this year. Instead, Governor Healey is asking lawmakers to amend that date to July 1st of 2024 to give the state more time to get everything in place.
Lawmakers can now either approve the veto and accept the new July start date, or override the governor. Either would need to happen by the end of the legislative session which is November 15.
Resources for homeowners:
In Connecticut where crumbling foundations have also been a huge problem, there is a fund to help homeowners pay for a new foundation. So far, the state has given out millions of dollars to help repair homes in the northeast part of the state. It’s paid for through a $12 surcharge on everyone’s homeowner’s insurance.