BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A bill that would help homeowners get financial assistance to deal with crumbling foundations will be heard before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. This is the first time lawmakers will hear directly from homeowners that are dealing with crumbling concrete.
Foundations of homes in more than a dozen communities have tested positive for pyrrhotite – a naturally occurring mineral in concrete poured by now defunct JJ Mottes in Connecticut from 1983 to 2015 – that causes concrete to slowly deteriorate as it’s exposed to oxygen and water. The only way to fix it is through a process that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance.
At this time, the only help offered by Massachusetts is testing reimbursement. Homeowners within a 20-mile radius of JJ Mottes can get a visual test done, and get 100% back up to $400. For core testing, homeowners can get 75% back up to $5,000.
The bill being heard Tuesday would change that by creating a fund to help homeowners pay to repair their foundation. It would allow a “captive insurance company” to operate in Massachusetts. This would authorize a qualified group to manage and distribute any state, local or federal funds to homeowners impacted by crumbing concrete.
The bill would also make it mandatory to test quarries in Massachusetts for pyrrhotite to ensure the mineral is never used in concrete again. Tax abatements, permit fee waivers and disclosure notices are also included in the bill.
Anyone interested in testifying must register here by this Sunday, January 2, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Once registered, you will receive an invitation to join the hearing one day prior to the hearing. Please note, there is a time limit of three minutes per person for oral testimony.
Written testimony may also be submitted to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture by email to: JointCommittee.Environment@malegislature.gov