CLF Defends Saugus Residents from Unmonitored Ash Landfill

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Takes Wheelabrator to Court for Violating Federal Law

May 22, 2017 (SAUGUS, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it has filed a notice of intent to take Wheelabrator Saugus, Inc. to court for its failure to monitor and track water quality in the area surrounding the company’s 140-acre ash landfill in Saugus, Massachusetts. Monitoring of this kind is required by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

“The Saugus ash landfill sits at the heart of a thriving community, yet landfills of this type are infamous for releasing lead, mercury, and other cancer-causing chemicals into our air and water,” said CLF attorney Kirstie Pecci. “Despite this significant hazard, the landfill has operated for decades without monitoring its impact or creating an adequate barrier from the families and businesses that call Saugus home. It’s time for Wheelabrator to answer for its years of neglect and finally commit to water quality monitoring as the law requires and the community demands.”

Wheelabrator is currently proposing to expand its Saugus landfill, notwithstanding the fact that it has yet to quantify the extent of its existing pollution to the largely low-income neighborhoods that surround the site. Among the likely pollutants associated with ash landfills are dioxins, which are considered among the most toxic chemicals on earth. CLF’s notice calls for the immediate monitoring of groundwater in the vicinity of the landfill to determine various levels of these and other harmful compounds.

A copy of CLF’s notice is available here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.





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