September 15, 2017

Worcester airport contractor fined $168K

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Worcester Regional Airport, where work that's part of a $32-million project has led to environmental fines.

A Framingham contractor working at Worcester Regional Airport has been fined $167,500 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for wetlands and water-quality violations.

The fine against J.F. White Contracting Co. announced Thursday is the result of what the state said was the discharge of sediment-laden stormwater to wetlands bordering the airport. Those wetlands are tributaries to a public water supply, according to the DEP.

J.F. White failed to follow approved plans or to implement erosion and sediment controls, the DEP said. One of the city's water supply reservoirs was shut down several times because of elevated turbidity in the water.

The state-owned airport is undergoing a major renovation to add a new landing system and taxiway. The $32-million program is meant to make landings safer and more reliable, even in poor visibility.

In addition to paying a fine, J.F. White must remove as much of the material from wetlands as feasible, re-establish vegetation in affected areas, and monitor the wetlands for the next two growing seasons.

"J.F. White's actions over a prolonged period of time caused significant damage to wetland resource areas and affected the City of Worcester's water supply reservoir," Mary Jude Pigsley, the director of the DEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester, said in a statement.

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