BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized the Thirty-six Ayer Road Realty Trust and Trustee Scott Evans $19,937 for failing to clean up contamination at the trustee's business, Hillside Garage in Harvard.

In 2008 and 2009, MassDEP was notified of two separate, historic releases of gasoline and oil at the garage site, located at 36 Ayer Road. In September 2009, MassDEP issued a Notice of Noncompliance (NON) to Mr. Evans for failing to assess the initial release, as required.

When MassDEP did not receive a response to the NON, an audit inspection was conducted in July 2011, at which time, it was determined that contaminated soil had been excavated in 2009 and remained stockpiled on-site. Following MassDEP's inspection, Mr. Evans hired a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) and properly disposed of the stockpiled soil.

The LSP also assisted Mr. Evans by applying for funds from the state-administered Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund (the 21J fund) to defray cleanup costs.

In a consent order with MassDEP, Mr. Evans will pay $1,000 of the assessed penalty with the balance suspended, contingent upon conducting the required cleanup actions and pending a determination of 21J fund eligibility or demonstration of the trust's financial inability to pay for the cleanup.

"Waste sites need to be cleaned up as required by state laws, but MassDEP also understands and appreciates the financial burden that cleanups can pose on small businesses." said Lee Dillard Adams, director for MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "Mr. Evans is working to ensure the cleanup at Hillside Garage continues."

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.