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Certa Pro Fined for Dumping Paint Waste

Thursday, January 3, 2013

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Colored water percolating out of a storm drain and into a Massachusetts river has landed Certa Pro Painters in hot water with that state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

MassDEP has penalized the ProGroup Network Inc. of Fairhaven (d/b/a Certa Pro Painters) $5,750—but temporarily stayed half the fine—for dumping waste paint wash water into a storm drain at the Dartmouth Mall in Dartmouth, MA.

Certa Pro, a nationwide residential and commercial painting franchise, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.

Colored Water, Uncontained Waste

MassDEP said it responded to a complaint Sept. 25, 2012, that colored water was flowing out of a storm drain and discharging into the Paskamansett River in Dartmouth.

Paskamansett River in Dartmouth, MA
John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Authorities said paint waste dumped in a storm drain colored the Paskamansett River in Dartmouth, MA. More violations were found at the company's facility.

MassDEP, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Dartmouth Fire Department responded, and the source was quickly traced to a storm drain at the nearby shopping mall, where employees of Certa Pro Painters admitted responsibility, MassDEP said in a release.

Later inspection of the company's facility in Fairhaven found hazardous-waste storage violations, including unlabeled 55-gallon drums of waste stored outside without containment.

"No one should ever be dumping anything into the storm drains without prior approval," said Philip Weinberg, director of MassDEP's Southeast Regional Office in Lakeville.

"Storm drains are designed to convey storm water during wet weather events, and unpermitted discharges and dumping directly into a storm drain may impact sensitive nearby resource areas."

Cleanup and Correction

Once notified by the agency of the discharge, Certa Pro Painters "immediately ceased the discharge and took immediate actions to clean up the material," MassDEP reported.

Certa Pro Painters Certa Pro Painters
Certa Pro Painters

The nationwide commercial and residential painting franchise will get a break on the fine if there are no additional discharges to storm water, MassDEP said.

"Certa Pro Painters has corrected the hazardous waste violations, implemented an environmental protection policy for proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste, and formalized the employee training to prevent any future dumping or discharge incidents to any storm drains," the agency said. 

MassDEP has agreed to suspend $2,875 of the assessed penalty if Certa Pro Painters does not have any additional discharges to storm drains or surface water.


Tagged categories: CertaPro Painters; Containment; Enforcement; Environmental Protection; Hazardous waste; Paint disposal; Painters; Painting Contractor

Comment from Robert Burke, Burke Painting Company in Wilmington, DE, (1/8/2013, 6:57 PM)


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