Homeowners with collapsing foundations could receive tax relief and fee waivers under Senator Anne M. Gobi’s pyrrhotite bill
Homeowners grieved by crumbling foundations may soon be eligible for property tax rebates and building permit fee waivers to make repairs.
Sellers would also be required to disclose any testing or repair of a foundation, according to one text. bill tabled by State Senator Anne M. Gobi, D-Spencer.
The pyrrhotite-stained concrete phenomenon has been described as a natural idle disaster affecting an unknown number of homes in southern and central Massachusetts.
“It is imperative that we take action to help homeowners who through no fault of their own are facing the devastating news that their home’s foundation is failing,” Gobi said in a press release.
The co-sponsors of the legislation, tabled Thursday, are State Senator Eric P. Lesser, D-Longmeadow, and Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and State Representative Brian M. Ashe, D-Longmeadow. The district of Comerford extends into the county of Worcester, where pyrrhotite has been found.
The bill would establish standards for entities wishing to obtain a permit to operate or expand a quarry to include a pyrrhotite test and would require producers of concrete and aggregates to keep a record of their sources.
Last year, Gobi saw a law passed that allows homeowners to be reimbursed at a rate of 100% for visual tests performed by a licensed professional engineer up to $ 400, and at a rate of 75% for sample testing up to $ 5,000.
Concrete made from rock contaminated with the natural mineral and mined at Becker’s Quarry in Willington, Connecticut, is to blame for a strip of crumbling foundations across Massachusetts and Connecticut.
JJ Mottes Concrete Co. of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, used the stone from 1983 to 2015. But there are no good records of where the concrete was used.
Last year, a Massachusetts panel identified 95,073 homes that were built around the time the contaminated concrete was used and in places the company was known to do business. This includes Charlton, Monson, Brimfield, Palmer, Longmeadow and elsewhere.
The state has said it could cost $ 350 million to completely restore the crumbling foundations of houses in Massachusetts built with concrete contaminated with pyrrhotite.
The concrete is fine at the start. But over time, pyrrhotite reacts with air and water, swelling and forcing the concrete to separate. It starts with blisters, or small cracks in the hairline or spider web. Soon whole pieces start to fall off.
Repairing a house can cost $ 200,000 or more.