Mill West

Tenants sued Brady Sullivan after lead contamination was found in several apartments at Mill West in Manchester. It was announced Tuesday that the company is settling a separate contamination complaint at the site with the state.

MANCHESTER — Brady Sullivan has agreed to pay a $500,000 administrative fine related to managing contaminated soils removed from The Lofts at Mill West property, according to state officials.

“This is a significant penalty,” Michael Wimsatt, director of the state’s waste management division at the Department of Environmental Services, said Tuesday.

The Manchester-based real estate company will pay $50,000 to the state’s hazardous waste cleanup fund.

The remaining $450,000 will be used in supplemental environmental projects in Manchester, Bartlett and Londonderry, according to the DES.

That includes paying $125,000 to the city of Manchester to fund a project involving contaminated soil cleanup at 307 Kidder St., a city-owned lot associated with a hotel and parking garage development, according to DES.

An amount of $200,000 will go to the town of Bartlett to fund a project that is developing a riverbank stabilization design and landfill closure design for the former Bartlett landfill located on Route 302 in Bartlett.

And $125,000 will go to the town of Londonderry to fund a project involving site assessment and cleanup planning at 35 Gilcreast Road, a former apple orchard property that is subject to a conservation easement the town holds.

“This will help offset some of those costs to taxpayers,” Wimsatt said.

Before 2013, as part of construction and development activities, Brady Sullivan transported contaminated soil from 195 McGregor St. in Manchester to a gravel pit property that it owns in Londonderry at 6 Roundstone Drive, according to DES.

Wimsatt said DES believes they shipped about 8,400 tons of contaminated soil over a period of months.

“The contaminated soils were subject to a hazardous waste determination to determine their regulatory status prior to off-site disposal,” DES said in its announcement. “Brady Sullivan did not conduct the required determinations on the transported soils.”

Later testing showed that concentrations of tetrachloroethylene in the soils caused them to be classified as solid waste, requiring proper disposal at a permitted solid waste facility, according to DES.

“Tetrachloroethylene is widely used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

“Effects resulting from acute (short-term) high-level inhalation exposure of humans to tetrachloroethylene include irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, kidney dysfunction, and neurological effects such as reversible mood and behavioral changes, impairment of coordination, dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, and unconsciousness,” the EPA said.

Brady Sullivan, which is one of the city’s largest landlords, subsequently removed the soil from the Londonderry property and properly disposed of it at “significant expense” at a permitted location, according to DES.

The state’s consent agreement was with Brady Sullivan Millworks LLC and Brady Sullivan Corporation.

Co-owner Arthur Sullivan could not immediately be reached for comment.

Wimsatt said this case was unrelated to questions over the use of lead paint at the complex.

In 2017, two Brady Sullivan companies agreed with federal regulators to pay a penalty of $90,461 to settle lead paint violations at The Lofts at Mill West.

More than 40 tenants also sued over lead concerns there.

“It is vital that developers and contractors comply with all applicable laws and rules relative to management of contaminated soils, particularly at former commercial and industrial properties where hazardous materials have previously been in use,” said DES Commissioner Robert Scott.

mcousineau@unionleader.com