Parallel Products drops biosolids projects in agreement with City of New Bedford
Trucks banned from Phillips Road; payments to be made for neighborhood improvements.
The City of New Bedford has reached a host community agreement with Parallel Products that bans all biosolids from its processing facility in the New Bedford Business Park.
The agreement between the City and Parallel Products affiliates South Coast Renewables and SMRE 100, LLC, states that the expansion of the recyclables processing facility at 100 Duchaine Boulevard will “not apply for or maintain any approvals that authorize the acceptance, management, transload or processing of biosolids at the facility or site in any form.” It also prohibits the facility operator and subcontractors from allowing any of their trucks to use Phillips Road, a residential corridor in the North End, when traveling to or from the site.
Parallel Products will proceed with its plans to construct an enclosed municipal solid waste facility and will be required to pay the City a fee of $2 per ton of waste processed there. The company estimates that the fees will total $800,000 in the first year of operation. The City will establish a dedicated fund in which half of the proceeds from the fee will be used for public improvement projects in precincts 1-D and 1-E, where the Pine Hill Acres, Briarwood and Sassaquin neighborhoods are located. City Council approval is required to establish the fund.
Parallel Products estimates the expansion will create 75 new jobs. The increased value of the renovated property will raise its real estate taxes by at least $200,000.
The agreement also includes a “most favored pricing” clause, which establishes that, in the event that the City sends municipal waste to the facility, the City would pay the lowest price the company charges its comparable customers.
Summary of Benefits to the City:
• Biosolids banned from the facility
• $30 million investment that will create 75 new jobs
• More than $200,000 in new annual tax revenue
• Additional annual fees paid to the City estimated to exceed $800,000 in the first year, half of which will be deposited in a dedicated fund for neighborhood improvements
• Trucks banned from using Phillips Road when traveling to or from the facility
• Most favored pricing clause that ensures prices for the City, should the City seek to retain Parallel Products’ services, would be no higher than the lowest prices to a comparable customer
“We made clear from the start that any expansion must protect public health and safety, mitigate environmental risks, and offset the impact to nearby neighborhoods,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “By eliminating biosolids from the plan and securing significant financial benefits for neighbors, this agreement achieves those goals and more.”
“We’ve always said we’d never allow a sludge plant in New Bedford, and we’re very happy with what the Mayor has accomplished and that this agreement prevents that,” said state Rep. Paul Schmid, whose district includes the New Bedford Business Park.
“A major concern of residents was the processing of biosolids, and I’m very happy that we were able to prevent this. Additionally, we’ll keep significant money from the agreement in Ward 1 to benefit our neighborhoods,” Ward 1 City Councilor Brad Markey said. “I look forward to supporting establishment of the dedicated fund for these public improvement projects.”
“This agreement looks to be a great deal for the City and the nearby residents,” City Council President Ian Abreu said. “The concerns of the neighborhood were heard loud and clear, and that’s how we arrived at this deal.”
“The agreement announced today represents a positive development for existing park companies, local residents, and the entire City,” said Liz Isherwood, chair of the Greater New Bedford Industrial Foundation, which oversees the New Bedford Business Park.
“This is a uniquely positive outcome for the City that came about through hard work, tough negotiating, and dedication to serving residents. The public benefits in this agreement will have positive impacts for neighborhoods near the Business Park and the City’s economy as a whole,” said Tony Sapienza, president of the New Bedford Economic Development Council.