June 15, 2018

Fitchburg wastewater business owner sentenced to probation, $20K fine

Photo | State House News Service
Attorney General Maura Healey

The owner of a Fitchburg private wastewater treatment company and an engineering company has been sentenced to three years of probation and other penalties for falsifying wastewater supplies and test results.

Kent Oldfield, 52, of Fitchburg and president of New SRA Inc. and New England Engineering Group, LLC, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in Middlesex Superior Court.

In addition to probation, Oldfield must pay a $19,500 fine, complete 50 hours of community service and face a four-month suspension of his wastewater operation certification.

According to Attorney General Maura Healey's office, Oldfield and his company were treating wastewater from privately owned condominium complexes in Dover, Holliston and Lunenburg. Wastewater from those complexes can be discharged into the ground, per the state Department of Environmental Protection permits.

Oldfield and his companies were required to provide monthly sampling and analysis of the pollutants in the wastewater to ensure proper decontamination levels, but he falsified those samples to cover up permit violations at those facilities, according to Healey's office.

He also falsified the level of nitrate and total nitrogen, which can cause adverse health and environmental effects if discharged at excess levels, Healey's office said.

"The state expects certified operators like the defendant to truthfully report that their wastewater discharge is safe," Healey said. "Falsifying wastewater samples and test results puts the health of our residents and our water quality at risk."

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