TUNBRIDGE—The Agency of Natural Resources last week fined Blakeman Towing and Recovery in Tunbridge for violations of state salvage yard land use and hazardous waste management regulation.
The fine is the result of an investigation that began in 2013 in response to complaints that oil was being dumped. The Natural Resources Board (NRB) and the Agency of Natural Resources jointly inspected the business property in Tunbridge and in Sharon. At both properties, personnel observed active, but unpermitted, salvage yards and improperly managed hazardous waste. Dozens of car batteries stored on bare ground and an active release into the environment of used automotive oil were observed. Additionally, the NRB found that the parcel is subject to Act 250 jurisdiction, originally permitted in 2003. The 2003 permit required written approval from the District 3 Environmental Commission prior to any design or use changes on the property, which was never obtained.
After multiple attempts to negotiate a cleanup schedule and reach voluntary compliance, the Agency filed an administrative order with the Environmental Court in 2016 to compel the business to cease operations and clean the hazardous waste. Following that, Blakeman’s Towing and Recovery agreed to settle the matter with an assurance of discontinuance in early 2017. The assurance was incorporated into a final judicial order on June 7, 2017, and requires a penalty of $25,000 plus enforcement costs expended by the NRB. The order also requires Blakeman Towing and Recovery to cease salvage yard operations until necessary permits and compliance with hazardous waste management regulations are obtained.