State fines Holyoke Country Club $15,425 for environmental violations


Staff Writer

Published: 07-30-2019 11:41 PM

HOLYOKE — The state’s Department of Environmental Protection has fined the Holyoke Country Club, which is owned by Northampton businessman Eric Suher, $15,425 for violating air pollution, hazardous waste and underground storage tank regulations.

The fine was levied against Suher’s company ESHCC LLC, and is related to underground gasoline storage tanks at the country club. In a release, MassDEP said the country club did not install a necessary vapor recovery system on that storage tank, that it failed to maintain the tank system components, did not perform third-party inspections and failed to maintain required records and logs.

Suher did not answer a call made to his cellphone on Tuesday evening, and an employee at the country club said he was not at the property.

This is not the first time MassDEP has penalized Suher’s company over similar violations. According to the agency’s press release, ESHCC previously did not comply with environmental regulations concerning the underground gasoline tank. The agency had required ESHCC to correct the violations and pay a penalty, but the company did neither.

“Facility operators must understand and recognize the importance of operating in compliance with the Massachusetts environmental laws and regulations to protect public health and safety and to avoid assessment of penalties,” Michael Gorski, the director of MassDEP’s Western Regional Office in Springfield, said in a statement. “This is especially true when they have been subjected to previous enforcement actions and have failed to comply with or respond to those enforcement actions.”

In addition to the $15,425 fine for the violations, MassDEP also issued a “unilateral administrative order” requiring the Holyoke Country Club to correct the violations.

The agency has also issued an order prohibiting the delivery of gasoline to the storage tank until ESHCC demonstrates that it is complying with the state’s environmental regulations.

Suher came under scrutiny from the state recently after a New England Public Radio report detailed allegations of labor law violations — including wage theft — by employees of Suher’s Iron Horse Entertainment Group.

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