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Saugus construction company issued cease-and-desist order by state

SAUGUS — The state has issued a cease-and-desist order to a Saugus construction company building a residential subdivision off of Essex Street for numerous wetlands and water quality certification violations.

American Residential Construction, managed by John Tucci of Wakefield, has four properties on Berthold Street, which is behind York Ford and Burger King on Route 1. They range from 20,000 and 28,000 square feet each and are valued between $185,000 and $188,000, according to Patriot Properties. All four were purchased in 2011.

The company was cited by the state Department of Environmental Protection for repeated violations at the Saugus construction site.

But attorney Marc Chapdelaine, who represents the company, said steps were taken to replicate and replant wetlands, and to make the conservation area that abuts that area thrive.

“From an environmental standpoint it’s a better site than it was when this work began,” said Chapdelaine.

The department says American Residential Construction failed to comply with the approved project and wetland replication and restoration plans; failed to maintain site stabilization; worked in a jurisdiction after the expiration of the valid order of conditions; failed to record a water quality certification deed restriction as required or even file the water quality certification application; and repeatedly failed to submit required monitoring reports.

“MassDEP inspected this site in February 2018 and attempted to work with the company and its representatives to resolve the issues, but (American Residential Construction) did not respond,” said Eric Worrall, director of MassDEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. “Instead, the company started work at the site again early in 2019 for which it had no approval, making today’s actions by MassDEP a necessity.”

MassDEP issued a $6,000 demand letter for a previously suspended penalty due to the company’s repeated failure to submit monitoring reports as required under a previous consent order it signed with MassDEP on Oct. 31, 2016.

The cease-and-desist order requires all activity within the jurisdiction to stop immediately with the exception of immediate stabilization.

It also requires submittal of monitoring reports, with no project work to take place in the jurisdiction until the filing of required notice of intent to the Saugus Conservation Commission and MassDEP for approval. The company must also record the deed restriction or file the water quality certification application and receipt of approval.

Chapdelaine said his client’s next step is to refile a notice of intent. To do that, engineers are putting together an updated conditions plan.

There are very few steps left before the development is ready to hit the market, he said.

“There were some issues that were raised that are being addressed,” said Chapdelaine. “They look forward to presenting these three lots in the spring.”


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