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Illegally dumped concrete by river in Hadley cleaned up

  • An area along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River, near the 100 block of River Road in Hadley, has now been cleared of an illegal dump of broken concrete that was discovered in May. Only straw and a silt fence remain. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Photos show a large pile of broken pieces of concrete, left, dumped along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River in Hadley, photographed in May, and the same site Monday, now cleared of all debris GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • An area along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River, near the 100 block of River Road in Hadley, has now been cleared of an illegal dump of broken concrete that was discovered in May. Only straw and a silt fence remain. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • An area along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River, near the 100 block of River Road in Hadley, has now been cleared of an illegal dump of broken concrete that was discovered in May. Only straw and a silt fence remain. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • An area along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River, near the 100 block of River Road in Hadley, has now been cleared of an illegal dump of broken concrete. Only straw and a silt fence remain. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • What appears to be an intact section of sidewalk is among the debris pile of broken pieces of concrete which was recently found on the eastern shore of the Connecticut River off of River Road in North Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • A large debris pile of broken pieces of concrete, which appear to be from a demolition, was recently found on the eastern shore of the Connecticut River off of River Road in North Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • A large debris pile of broken pieces of concrete, which appear to be from a demolition, was recently found on the eastern shore of the Connecticut River off of River Road in North Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • A large debris pile of broken pieces of concrete, which appear to be from a demolition, was recently found on the eastern shore of the Connecticut River off of River Road in North Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • A large debris pile of broken pieces of concrete, which appear to be from a demolition, was recently found on the eastern shore of the Connecticut River off of River Road in North Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Photos show a large pile of broken pieces of concrete, left, dumped along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River in Hadley, photographed in May, and the same site Monday, now cleared of all debris GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING —



Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

HADLEY — Facing a state order and threat of fines, a Hadley contractor has cleaned up a massive pile of concrete demolition debris that was dumped along the banks of the Connecticut River.

After investigating the site off Route 47 near Stockwell Road in March, the state Department of Environmental Protection determined that 2,860 cubic feet of concrete rubble, reinforcement bar, pipes, conduit and painted wood shards had been dumped there. The volume of material would almost fill a 48-foot semi trailer.

The DEP traced the debris to the demolition and reconstruction of a sidewalk and structures at 64 Gothic St. in Northampton, where a long, concrete handicapped-access ramp has been installed. It held Christopher J. Baj, of Hadley Concrete Service, responsible for the rubble pile, alleging violations of the state’s solid waste, wetlands and waterways laws.

Baj and Mark T. Brennan, a Pittsfield lawyer who was representing Baj at the time of the DEP’s order in July, could not be reached for comment Monday. Brennan had earlier told the Gazette that Baj denied “any dumping of any project materials anywhere” and does not own a dump truck.

Nevertheless, Baj was behind the cleanup of the site late last week, according to the DEP.

“We did get confirmation that they were working on it and getting it cleaned up Friday,” said Catherine Skiba, the agency’s spokeswoman. “They complied with the order.”

Hadley Select Board member Donald Pipczynski said he was not aware the debris had been removed, but was pleased to hear that the matter was being addressed. The debris had initially been discovered by town officials after Pipczynski said he received an anonymous email alerting him to the pile.

“It’s very good news,” Pipczynski said. “I was getting the impression nobody cared about the cleanup and the state would have to step in and make even more penalties.

“I’m glad they chose the avenue of cleanup and we can put this matter to rest,” he added. “This should have never happened.”

Skiba, of the DEP, said Baj will need to file a report about the cleanup with the state agency this month, after which time the agency will reinspect the site.

According to the DEP order, Baj and an environmental consultant must coordinate a restoration plan with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program to protect any endangered species at the site and erect adequate erosion control and sedimentation controls, among other measures.

Baj must also continue to monitor the site through 2018, according to the DEP.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.