, Newburyport, MA

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October 6, 2012

Clamshell waste raises stink

Officials order cleanup of illegal dumping


The petition also stated the “unbelievable” stench caused unhealthy conditions that needed to be addressed to protect the health and safety of those who lived on and walked along the roadway.

Morris said there could be any number of clam processing companies in the area that could have been dumping shucked clamshells at the site. He approached Town Manager Neil Harrington concerning the petition. Since one of the companies processing clams in town belongs to the son of a Selectman Ed Hunt Sr., Harrington tried to handle the situation diplomatically, Morris told the Board of Health Tuesday night.

However, the dumping continued. In July, the petition was filed again at Town Hall, this time signed by 16 residents, most of whom either live or own property on Ferry Lots Lane.

To help Morris gather evidence, area residents shared the schedule of when the dumping customarily occurred. A tip from a resident on July 20 resulted in town inspectors catching a truck driver sent to dump eight barrels of shells by his employer, Edwin Hunt Jr., who owns and operates Hunt’s Shellfish.

When first approached, Hunt Jr. said Harold Congdon gave his company permission to dump the shells on his property on Ferry Lots Lane. Although Congdon claimed he had a letter from the state Department of Environmental Protection giving him permission for the dumping, Morris said he was never able to produce the correspondence. In addition, Morris said the dumping was a clear violation of town and state regulations.

“I went down there, the smell was awful,” Morris said. “Let’s be clear: This is rotting biological matter. It’s the illegal dumping of solid waste. It you want to accept this kind of solid waste on your property, you need to get a site assessment from the Board of Health.”

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