NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 6, 2012

Clamshell waste raises stink

Officials order cleanup of illegal dumping

(Continued)

On July 26 and 27, enforcement orders were sent to Hunt Jr. and Congdon, telling them to cease the activity and to develop a plan to clean up the piles of shells on the property.

“Ed Hunt Jr. stopped immediately and proposed a viable clean-up plan, but he wasn’t allowed access to the property,” Morris said. “On Tuesday, Oct. 2, I met with Harold (Congdon), and he’s agreed to clean up the piles by Oct. 16. If not, then I’ll bring the situation back to the Board of Health and we may pursue criminal charges.”

Those criminal charges aren’t minor. In addition to breaking town ordinances that carry fines, the actions violate state laws surrounding the creation of a health nuisance, carrying a fine of $1,000 a day, and creating an illegal dumping ground, carrying a fine of $25,000 a day.

Morris said although Hunt Jr. is taking the brunt of the responsibility, he believes there are other businesses that may have been involved in the illegal dumping over the years. However, Morris added, since Hunt Jr. was cited, all the illegal dumping has stopped.

Morris said another concern underlying the issue, and many other healthy or safety code enforcement concerns arising daily in Salisbury, is the argument from residents and businesses in town that they have never had to follow certain state or local laws or regulations in the past.

“I’m so tired of hearing the old adage, `We never had to do this before,’” Morris said. “The state’s solid waste laws have been around since 1980. We’re in the code enforcement business, and I treat everyone the same.”

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