Route 6/10 construction firm accused of dumping thousands of tons of contaminated fill

This is a file image of the 6/10 Connector. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Barletta Heavy Division, Inc., the Route 6/10 construction firm, is accused of dumping thousands of tons of contaminated fill.

Attorney General Peter Neronha said the firm and a former employee tossed the contaminated fill at project sites in Providence during the construction of the Route 6/10 Interchange.

Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. and Dennis Ferreira were both charged with two counts of illegal disposal of solid waste, one count of operating a solid waste management facility without a license, and one count of providing a false document to a public official.

The firm and Ferreira, 62, are scheduled to face a Providence Superior Court judge next month.

In July 2020, Neronha said the firm and Ferreira allowed the “disposal of more than 4,500 tons of stone and soil contaminated with hazardous materials at the Route 6/10 Interchange construction project.”

Ferreira, who was the superintendent of the project in 2020, “possessed broad authority over the project, including the acquisition of material to be used on site,” said the attorney general.

“Barletta is required to analyze any fill brought to the 6/10 project site for contaminants and must certify any fill be suitable for use at the site,” said Neronha.

Both the company and the 62-year-old, Neronha said, “sourced known contaminated fill” from the Pawtucket-Central Falls Rail Station site and from stockpile in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.

During a press conference Wednesday, Neronha said the Pawtucket-Central Falls Rail Station site had been used a rail yard for about 150 years.

“The presence of soil contaminants, including arsenic and PAH’s, have been previously confirmed” at that site, he said.

At the Jamaica Plain location, Barletta allegedly stockpiled contaminated stone from railbed replacement work they conducted on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority B and C Green lines.

“The defendants [allegedly] authorized the transport of approximately 1,114 tons of contaminated soil from the Pawtucket-Central Falls site and approximately 3,460 tons of contaminated stone from the Jamaica Plain site to the 6/10 project site,” said Neronha.

Also in July 2020, the Department of Environmental Management and Department of Transportation allegedly asked Ferreira for an environmental certification for the transported stone from the Jamaica Plain to the 6/10 project site.

“He provided an environmental testing report with analysis from another site, to hide the fact that the 6/10 site stone was contaminated,” said Neronha.

Two years later, Ferreira pled guilty to making a false statement regarding the federally funded highway project. In that case, Barletta agreed to pay a $500,000 criminal fine and pay $1 million to the government.

Barletta is a Canton, Massachusetts-based construction firm that oversees the ongoing $247 million Route 6/10 Interchange highway construction project that started in 2018, according to Neronha.

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