City files with state its objections to Parallel Products project

Calls project unsafe; cites threats to air and water;

and highlights noise, odor and traffic impacts

New Bedford, Massachusetts–  On behalf of the City of New Bedford, the Boston-based law firm KP Law strongly opposed the proposal of Parallel Products to establish a glass/solid waste/biosolids processing facility in the New Bedford Business Park, challenging the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).

The DEIR is currently under review by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office. In a letter to state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides responding to Parallel’s DEIR, attorney Mark Reich outlined New Bedford’s opposition, noting:

  • “The City strongly objects to this project as it will have a clear negative impact on public health, safety, and the environment based upon the noise, odors, and traffic impacts, as well as wetlands and soils impacts. The DEIR itself demonstrates a lack of attention to these concerns, requiring additional review, clarification, and correction before a certificate can be issued.”
  • “There is a significant potential for [polyfluoroalkyl substance] and other contaminants to enter groundwater and potentially drinking water, as the property is located on a potentially productive aquifer… The substantial threat to drinking water and the public health, not to mention liability for groundwater contamination, has not been addressed.”
  • “The discharge to the city of wastewater from the biosolids digester is also of grave concern. As proposed, wastewater contaminated with PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substance) from other communities’ biosolids will be discharged to the City of New Bedford municipal wastewater treatment plant.”
  • “The applicant estimates that the project will result in an addition of 300 new truck trips per day and 150 new employee trips per day into an already stressed traffic environment. From a traffic standpoint, the most significant issue that has not been fully analyzed is the high crash rate at the intersection of Theodore Rice Boulevard and Duchaine Boulevard which currently exceeds both the District and Statewide crash rates for unsignalized intersections.”

Mayor Jon Mitchell said, “This project would pose risks to the health of nearby residents and undermine the quality of life in the neighborhood. The case has now been made to the state regulatory agencies reviewing this proposal that this residential neighborhood is no place for a project like this.”

KP Law, P.C. (formerly known as Kopelman & Paige) was retained in 2019 to represent the City of New Bedford to oppose the proposal at the state level. The firm has significant experience in working with the relevant state regulatory agencies, and has established a strong record as serving as outside counsel to the City in other matters.