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Canton company settles environmental lawsuit for $650,000

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A Canton company has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged an assortment of environmental wrongdoing.

The complaint, filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley, alleged National Water Main Cleaning Co. (NWMC) alleged the company swindled local communities by submitting false bills and records on multiple public contracts for sewer, storage tank and catch basin cleaning, maintenance and repair and illegally discharging sewage and wastewater.

The complaint says the company violated state law by discharging sewage and wastewater without a valid permit. Specifically, the complaint alleges NWMC improperly billed Waltham for disposal of waste.

The company is also said to have wrongly charged Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) for disposal of waste and for sewer work in several Boston neighborhoods. NWMC, according to the complaint, also overbilled Framingham in connection with a 2009 contract to remove grease from underground storage tanks by its trucks with water before taking the vehicles to get weighed.

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In 2010, in connection with a BWSC contract to inspect and repair leaky sewer laterals and drain pipes, NWMC also allegedly falsified dye tests intended to indicate whether repairs were actually necessary and then took improper shortcuts on contractually-required repairs. “Our office will vigorously pursue companies that submit false and inflated bills and records to public entities in order to increase their own profit,” said Coakley through a statement released this week.

“It is disappointing that a company dedicated to environmental services violated state laws designed to ensure a clean and safe environment. NWMC has agreed to put measures in place to prevent this from happening again.”

 
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