Officials find buried septic trucks 

Tisbury health board issues 30-day removal order, DEP to observe excavation.

Health officials discovered two septic trucks buried on property in Tisbury that are being used as holding tanks. -Courtesy Tisbury health agent

A Vineyard Haven septic hauler has been given 30 days to remove two tank trucks buried on land off High Point Lane. The 8,000- and 9,000-gallon tank trucks are filled with septage, and are owned by Maciel and Sons, a company that’s had its share of issues in recent weeks.

At a board meeting Tuesday, health agent Maura Valley told the board she went to the site and inspected the area and spoke with Troy Maciel. “He’s using it as a holding and transport facility,” Valley said. “So I said, You can’t do that. Title 5 requires that any container used for transport need to be on wheels, and not be a permanent structure. Well, he said, ‘It’s on wheels. The wheels are just buried.’”

Valley said she has ordered the trucks removed, and sought the board’s disposition toward a hearing for a possible suspension of Maciel and Sons’ license to operate in Tisbury. 

“I’m ordering Troy to pump out, dig up, and remove those tankers,” she said. Before Maciel can install something lawful like a frac tank, she said, he will need board of health approval and a special permit from the zoning board of appeals. 

Valley also said the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has become involved with the matter, and will be on onsite to make sure the pump-out and excavation are done properly. “I mean, obviously there’s an environmental hazard with these buried, because you can’t see if it springs a leak or anything like that — if it’s structurally sound,” she said.

The news of the buried trucks comes on the coattails of the Maciels running afoul of the Edgartown board of health for pumping septage back into a septic system following a bill dispute. Maciel and Sons was fined $500 by the board and given a 15-day suspension for that act. Trevor Maciel, son of Troy Maciel, also stands accused of assaulting a police officer in Oak Bluffs. 

In answer to a question posed by board member Michael Loberg, Valley said she and the DEP became aware of the buried trucks from an anonymous complaint.

Board member Jeff Pratt was disinclined to hold a hearing, and suggested the board monitor the process and reserve the right to hold a hearing if Maciel doesn’t comply with the order. The board voted unanimously to adopt that stance. 

A call made to Troy Maciel Tuesday evening went immediately to voicemail, and a message indicated the voice mailbox was full.

The land the trucks are buried under is a pit situated behind the old Coca-Cola bottling plant. It is owned by the Goodales. Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Peter Goodale said he was unaware Maciel buried trucks on the land. “He did not seek permission from me to do it,” Goodale said. 


  1. Wow what a tangled web they have woven for themselves. They seem to think rules and regulations do not apply to them. As well as common sense and how to deal with issues. Hopefully this is just a small little bump in the road for this family and they can get back on track and doing the right thing and good work like they have in the past.

  2. You just cant pump septic waste back into a tank, (allegedly) assault the police, and illegally bury septic trucks like we used to in the old days!
    The Vineyard has to lighten up a little.

  3. Am I reading this correctly, that these tankers were buried on a property Maciel and Sons didn’t own?

    Without that property owner’s knowledge?

    If that’s the case this is past being neglectful or negligent or even deceitful. It’s criminal.

    This company should face serious consequences and every possible penalty should be on the table; including losing their license to operate.

    if this company is capable of doing something like this, somebody should take a closer look into their past business practices.

    Who knows what other skeletons they have in their closet? (or in this case tankers buried underground)

  4. I think it’s prudent the town of Tisbury revoke any licenses or permits that allow Maciel and company to operate a business until a full investigation of their business practices is contracted

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