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Man Loses Hazardous Waste Cleanup License After Contamination in Newton, Other Communities

A hazardous waste site cleanup professional has lost his license for failure to meet state standards.

Updated 5 p.m. with more information on the location of the Newton incident.

A Marlborough man will lose his hazardous cleanup license after he reportedly contaminated properties in seven Massachusetts communities, including Newton.

Joel S. Loitherstein will not be able to reapply for the license until 2015 following a ruling by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (Board).

The decision was made in response to the board's finding of a pattern of substandard assessment and cleanup of contaminated properties in Natick, Newton, Brighton, Hudson, Hanson, Holliston and Dorchester. A license revocation is the most stringent disciplinary penalty the LSP Board can impose.

The Board concluded that Loitherstein, who was a Licensed Site Professional (LSP), repeatedly omitted from his required reports to the state available information about contamination at his clients’ sites, and repeatedly disregarded applicable cleanup standards.

“LSPs face severe disciplinary action if they do not present material facts about their clients’ sites or if they disregard cleanup standards when they certify that a site no longer presents a significant risk to human health or the environment," said Kirk Franklin, co-chairman of the Board’s Professional Conduct Committee. "By issuing this disciplinary order, the board is protecting the public and the environment and upholding the board’s standards of professional conduct.”

LSPs are licensed by the board to oversee the assessment and cleanup of Massachusetts property contaminated with oil, gasoline, or other hazardous materials. Property owners and others who are legally responsible for the contamination hire LSPs.

The board detailed seven sites where Loitherstein allegedly stated in some cases that the cleanup was not his client's responsibility or did not fully complete cleanup. In some cases, these filings with the state left the sites without a party responsible for the cleanup, according to information from the board.

According to the release, the Newton incident concerned 1203 Washington St.:

Mr. Loitherstein filed “Downgradient Property Status” (DPS) reports for three sites in the case: 130 Lincoln Street in Brighton, 5 Commonwealth Road in Natick, and 1203 Washington Street in Newton. For each of those sites, he claimed that the contamination originated on separate property and migrated to his client’s property, and thus his client was not responsible to remedy the contamination. However, for all three sites, he failed to discuss prior consultants’ reports identifying releases of the same contaminants on his client’s sites, which could prevent his clients from achieving Downgradient Property Status. Judge McIntyre upheld the Board’s ruling that it was not enough for Mr. Loitherstein merely to attach prior consultants’ reports to his opinions – he was required to explain how those reports were consistent with his claims that the source of the contamination was on separate property. 

Mr. Loitherstein filed “Downgradient Property Status” (DPS) reports for three sites in the case: 130 Lincoln Street in Brighton, 5 Commonwealth Road in Natick, and 1203 Washington Street in Newton. For each of those sites, he claimed that the contamination originated on separate property and migrated to his client’s property, and thus his client was not responsible to remedy the contamination. However, for all three sites, he failed to discuss prior consultants’ reports identifying releases of the same contaminants on his client’s sites, which could prevent his clients from achieving Downgradient Property Status. Judge McIntyre upheld the Board’s ruling that it was not enough for Mr. Loitherstein merely to attach prior consultants’ reports to his opinions – he was required to explain how those reports were consistent with his claims that the source of the contamination was on separate property. 

Superior Court Associate Justice Frances McIntyre upheld the Board’s decision as to all seven sites, according to information from the board. Loitherstein did not appeal the judgment.

Additional information about the Board, a list of LSPs, and other information about the state’s cleanup program for hazardous waste sites can be found at the Board’s website.

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