WORCESTER, Mass.—On Oct. 20, NELC Attorney Kevin Budris appeared in federal court to present arguments against the motion filed by Casella Waste Systems to dismiss the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act lawsuit filed by NELC attorneys to address ongoing pollution of surface waters and drinking water by the company’s massive solid waste landfill in Southbridge, Mass.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman announced after the hearing that he would take the matter under advisement, and issue an opinion at a later date.
Since the lawsuit was filed in June, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has tested sediment samples collected from wetlands and a stream near the landfill. These sediment samples contain many of the same pollutants discharged by the landfill, and are further evidence that the landfill is contaminating surface waters. Among these pollutants, arsenic, lead, manganese, iron and barium were detected in concentrations above risk levels recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as posing a threat to aquatic life. This new information further underscores the environmental risk posed by the landfill.