NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 6, 2012

Clamshell waste raises stink

Officials order cleanup of illegal dumping

SALISBURY — A smelly problem tinged with a bit of local politics appears to be coming to an end for residents of Ferry Lots Lane who have endured the nasty odor of rotting clamshells illegally dumped there for quite some time.

Health Agent Jack Morris told Board of Health members this week that those involved have stopped the illegal dumping and have promised to clean up the mess by Oct. 16. If not, Morris has the option of filing criminal charges that could result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines for the breaking of state and local health and dumping codes.

Morris’ report came after months of complaints led to investigations, discussions and the issuance of cease and desist orders after one of the responsible parties was caught in the act dumping shells on a private lot on Ferry Lots Lane on July 20. But the problem of clam processing houses illegally dumping fresh clamshells on other Ferry Lots Lane land goes back years, according to many.

The issue came to a head after members of the Salisbury Historical Commission signed and filed a complaint and a petition about the odorous problem with the Board of Health in March.

According to the complaint signed by commission member Beverly Gulazian, the daily dumping of freshly shucked clamshells at the end of Ferry Lots Lane caused a stench on a road she considers one of Salisbury’s historic paths.

“We the members of the Salisbury Historical Commission are concerned over the health conditions that prevail on a historic road of our town,” the petitioners wrote. “After walking the road from Mudnock Road all the way to the Merrimac(k) River on Ferry Lots Lane, we found clamshells and other debris, including deer carcasses, which are attracting coyotes along that road, where these deposits are on a public way.”

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