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Ron and Curt Bussiere of Patriots Environmental Corporation were charged with illegal waste disposal, including asbestos, on Thursday. The father and son were indicted and will be arraigned at a later date in the Worcester Superior Court.
The company was previously cited by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and fined $120k for failing to properly follow regulations for removing asbestos-containing materials from a Sturbridge home. The company also neglected to pay a $55k fine for another set of asbestos and hazardous waste violations prior to this indictment.
Patriots Environmental Corporation primarily works on asbestos removal and construction demolition projects throughout the state. Ron, age 67, is the President and Curt, age 43, is the Senior Manager.
The indictment was given by a Worcester Superior Court Grand Jury. The charges resulted in four counts of operating/maintaining a solid waste facility without getting the appropriate approvals first, two counts of criminal contempt, and one count maintaining a hazardous waste facility without the proper license.
“We allege that these defendant ignored laws put in place to protect the environment and the health of the public by allowing hazardous waste to be illegally stored and disposed of at their facilities,” said Attorney General Maura Healey.
Improperly handling these materials can have serious environmental and public health consequences and our office will vigorously prosecute those who fail to comply with environmental and safety requirements,” said Healey.
In December of 2013, Healey’s Environmental Crimes Strike Force started its investigation into Patriots Environmental’s activities. The force was composed of environmental police detectives, investigators, MassDEP attorneys and engineers.
The force received a tip about the illegal disposal regarding the corporation’s Oxford and Worcester facilities. After obtaining a search warrant, it was confirmed that many of the allegations were in fact true.
The corporation did not have Massachusetts’ approval to store asbestos-containing materials in its Worcester facility nor should it have allowed construction and demolition waste to be stored at the Oxford facility.
The press release stated, “The investigation also revealed that, at the time these alleged violations occurred, Patriots Environmental and, by extension, the Bussieres, were under a 2006 Suffolk Superior Court order … requiring them to handle asbestos-containing components in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.”
“And [they were] to refrain from bringing construction and demolition debris to its Worcester facility, unless it had obtained written authorization from MassDEP or did so in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.”