Pittsfield homeowner and building contractor fined for violations

Berkshire County

BOSTON (MassDEP) – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced it has fined both Pittsfield-based general contractor Diplacon Builders Inc. and employee Jose Saldana for violations of Massachusetts solid waste, asbestos and wetlands regulations for dumping that occurred at the residential property owned by Jose Saldana at 65-67 Taylor Street in Pittsfield.  

In June 2020, MassDEP received a complaint from a citizen through the Berkshire Environmental Action Team that several truckloads amounting to 40 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris had been dumped at the rear of the Taylor Street property within 100 feet of the Housatonic River. MassDEP’s sampling of the demolition debris, which included wood, metal and roofing materials, indicated the presence of asbestos-containing waste materials in a portion of the debris.

At the time, a Unilateral Order was issued to Mr. Saldana, owner of the property, requiring the removal of all waste materials there within seven days. However, Mr. Saldana did not immediately comply with the timelines for cleanup specified in the order as removal of the demolition debris was not completed until August 19, 2020. 

Further investigation performed by MassDEP determined that the waste dumped there was generated by a Diplacon Builders home roofing renovation project, and that the waste materials were transported and dumped at the Taylor Street property by employees of Diplacon Builders at the direction of its President, Paul Saldana. 

“The dumping of construction and demolition debris, particularly waste that contains asbestos, in close proximity to residences and a sensitive river is disturbing,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP’s Western Regional Office in Springfield. “MassDEP worked to ensure that the debris was cleaned up and the area restored. These settlements require payment of substantial penalties and emphasize the need for the involved parties to arrange for legal disposal of waste materials generated at construction sites.”

MassDEP fined Jose Saldana $26,100, and he will pay $7,500, with the balance suspended pending compliance with the order. MassDEP also fined Diplacon Builders $8,125, and the company will pay $7,500, with the balance suspended pending Diplacon’s future compliance. Suspension of a portion of the penalties is subject to both parties fully complying with MassDEP’s regulations and consent order conditions.  

Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials; notification requirements; proper removal, handling, packaging, storage, and disposal procedures; or the Asbestos Regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office for assistance.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

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