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June 17, 2024

Three businesses with Central Mass. presence hit with environmental fines

An industrial building Image | Courtesy of Google Maps Pan Glo's facility in Worcester

A bakery equipment manufacturer, a licensed asbestos contractor, and a local golf course were assessed fines in mid-June by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for incidents in Central Massachusetts. 

The companies, Pan Glo New England in Worcester, Pasquazzi Bros., Inc. of Cranston, Rhode Island, and Sterling National Country Club, were fined a combined total of $35,682 in separate penalties.

Pan Glo New England, a bakery equipment plant on Goddard Memorial Drive in Worcester operated by Ohio-based Russell T. Bundy Associates, was fined $11,607 for violating regulations governing air pollution, hazardous waste, and toxic use reduction, according to a MassDEP press release on Thursday.

The penalty stems from investigations resulting from a March 2023 odor complaint. The investigations found caustic odors emanating off-site, a failure to manage air emissions and pollution control devices, and a failure to submit required toxic use reduction-related documents.

“When manufacturing operations have the potential to cause odors from the materials and solvents they produce, they must take all necessary steps to ensure these odors do not create a nuisance or worse in their surrounding community,” Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester, said in the Thursday press release. “We appreciate that Pan Glo has taken responsibility, paid their fine and committed to complying with the state’s air pollution and hazardous waste requirements.” 

In a statement emailed to WBJ, a representative from Pan Glo said the company took responsibility for the violations. 

“We made some mistakes but have taken responsibility, are working diligently to rectify any issues, and are committed to ensuring compliance moving forward,” the statement read.

Pasquazzi Bros. were fined $10,875 for violations of asbestos regulations that occurred during renovation work at the former Primavera Junior/Senior High School in Bellingham. During an unannounced inspection in February 2023, MassDEP officials found the company was working under an expired notification, according to a Wednesday press release from MassDEP.

“We are pleased that Pasquazzi Bros, Inc. is taking accountability for its violation, satisfactorily paying the fine, and returning to compliance with Massachusetts’ asbestos regulations,” Pigsley said in the Wednesday press release. “Licensed asbestos abatement companies must notify MassDEP before starting asbestos work and not operate beyond the original schedule without filing a new notification. Keeping track of these dates are part of procedures that are mandatory to protect workers, residents and the public.”

Pasquazzi Bros. did not reply to a request for comment from WBJ.

Sterling National Country Club was fined $13,200 for failing to notify MassDEP in November 2022 about the release of gasoline from a tank located at the course. MassDEP received an anonymous tip about the spill, which Sterling National had failed to notify the agent about within the required two-hour time frame, according to a Friday press release from MassDEP.

“Owners of storage tanks are responsible for reporting spills to MassDEP within two hours,” Pigsley said in the Friday press release. “Training of staff to properly notify reduces the risk of harm to public health, safety, welfare and the environment.”

Sterling National said they believed the spill was the result of a disgruntled former employee vandalizing the tank during the night.

"It was an act of vandalism, we strongly believe it was a disgruntled former employee," Jeffrey Carroll, general manager of Sterling National, told WBJ on Monday. "As soon as I was notified of it, I began working with [MassDEP] and began containment and cleanup."

In addition to the fine, Sterling National agreed to make safety modifications to the tank and provide training for staff, according to the MassDEP press release. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated to include a quote from Sterling National. 

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