TEWKSBURY — At the Dec. 19 meeting of the Tewksbury Board of Health, Attorney Donald Borenstein updated the board about the progress that the Oliveira piggery has made since the Nov. 21 meeting, addressing an extensive list of requirements set forth by the board.
Borenstein said that he and the Oliveira team have been quite busy in the last month, stating that they immediately contacted the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to request an inspection, submitted status reports as requested by the Tewksbury Board of Health on each Thursday starting after Thanksgiving, and have retained a consultant to review the operation and address items that were flagged as violations by the Department of Public Health.
According to Borenstein, there were 12 items flagged as violations by DPH, five of which were record keeping in nature and seven of which were operational. According to Borenstein, six of seven have already been corrected, with the seventh item being the substantial refurbishment or replacement of a scalder.
Chairman Ray Barry asked how long the consultant services were being retained. Borenstein said there was no set length of service, and that the consultant’s assistance would be helpful in developing plans to meet regulatory compliance for the DPH and also would be helpful for drafting implementation plans for new policies.
Chairman Ray Barry noted that DPH violations at the farm are nothing new, and that the farm has had repeated issues with inadequately kept records. Board member Robert Scarano asked about a succession plan and both a horizontal and vertical operational plan for the piggery.
The board also asked that the consultant identify jurisdiction for each of the areas of the operation, such as state or local authorities.
According to Barry, while some conditions have been met, there are still some outstanding issues, and the board will wait for the January meeting to review the consultant’s report and asked that progress reports continue to be filed each Thursday. The matter was continued to Jan. 16 regularly scheduled BOH meeting.
In other business, the board was introduced to an applicant seeking to apprentice at Route 38 Tattoo. The owner of the shop also mentioned expansion plans into the basement of their unit, and will be submitting a floor plan to the board. The board had no issue and did ask that the shop be in contact with the building department.
Maria Ruggiero, the director of the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative, provided a demonstration of Narcan (naloxone). Narcan provides time for an overdosed person to receive medical care. It is not a solution for an overdose or addiction, nor does it mean the person does not need to seek medical help, but it can buy time for help to arrive by reversing the effects of the overdose temporarily.
Ruggiero explained that Narcan only lasts 30-90 minutes, and that the person who has overdosed still has opioids in the body, and when the Narcan wears off, the body can still throw the person right into overdose again. If people suspect an overdose, they need to shake a person to try to get them to stir, rub knuckles along the sternum to try to revive them, and if not successful, call 911 and say “person is not breathing” to enact a higher level of response to emergency responders.
To administer Narcan, give a few rescue breaths then put the Narcan atomizer in the person’s nostrils, give a few extra rescue breaths, and again be sure 911 is called. Ruggiero was also appointed a special agent of the Board of Health so that she could be contacted to coordinate services should someone from Tewksbury overdoes in another community. This had been a problem previously due to HIPAA laws.
The board discussed the new tobacco laws from the Commonwealth, which now means the BOH must review their own regulations. Specifics include the banning of flavored tobacco, not just vapes.
Director Susan Sawyer gave an update on outstanding grease tank cases, including Woodhaven, Dandi-Lyons, Capellini’s, Trull Brook, Bradford Lantern, Kyoto and Lisa’s Pizza. The board discussed concern that these businesses have had five years to comply with this regulation and now may go over the Dec. 31 deadline.
The Residences at Tewksbury Commons, 11 Old Boston Road/7 Archstone Ave. has become an issue for the board. Director Sawyer stated that she has four open cases against the property management company JRK and had to issue a fine for renting an apartment that has known violations. Sawyer mentioned that she was finally able to connect with the owner and there apparently has been no communication between the local management and ownership.
Lastly, the board brought up the issue of Cottage Place. The office plaza is still not in compliance with the board’s requirements for sewer connection and the board has not heard from the owner.