A state and federal criminal investigation is underway at Brady Sullivan Properties’ Pacific Mills site linked to asbestos. An informant who worked for one of Brady Sullivan’s contractors leaked news that four piles of asbestos-contaminated debris were moved from a site in New Hampshire to Pacific Mills in Massachusetts.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) are working on the investigation with Massachusetts state investigator, Tim Dame, who was tipped off last fall.
“We have a confidential informant … who is saying up to ten truckloads of black beauty sandblast grit with lead paint chips and asbestos from [Mill West in Manchester] was disposed of in Pacific Mills in Lawrence about two to three months ago in the basement cement,” wrote Dame in an email to MassDEP.
Dame was told construction debris had been transported that past summer from Mill West to Pacific Mills—two properties Brady Sullivan is currently renovating and converting from historic mills into luxury lofts.
Dame went to building three of Pacific Mills and found four piles of debris. In the piles, Dame said there were “small squares of pink material with paper backing.” He tested the squares and they came back positive for asbestos.
Upon contacting state and federal regulators, Dame wrote, “As you know, it is much more expensive to get rid of asbestos than regular solid waste, so some motivation to bury it in a floor is there. I would be interested to know of any records of testing or disposal of shotblast from the Manchester Mill Site.”
EPA Special Agent Tyler Amon responded by reaching out to other agencies, “Folks, in regards to allegations concerning Brady Sullivan/[Contractor Environmental Compliance Specialists, Inc.] ECSI, to include allegations of illegal disposal of lead and asbestos in the Lawrence, MA area this week, several of us thought a conference call to discuss the current status of both civil and criminal investigation at the federal and state made sense.”
Brady Sullivan has history of transforming dilapidated New England mills into high-end commercial and residential space. But the renovations are expensive because mills are full of toxic material that needs to be removed.
The company already has two ongoing investigations into its conduct. It was ordered by the EPA to clean up hazardous lead dust from several apartments in the Mill West property after it was discovered ECSI sandblasted lead paint off the walls using a demolition material called Black Beauty.
Nearby residents were exposed to the dangerous substance’s dust and it was found the contractor did not have permits nor the required employee training to dispose of lead. ECSI was fined $19,600 by OSHA, its website taken down, and its corporate filings have not been renewed with New Hampshire.
“Brady Sullivan does not know where the materials came from and believe that its environmental contractors always dispose of all materials in a safe, legal and regulated manner,” said the company in a statement.