According to documents obtained by ProPublica and Boston-area radio station WBUR, researchers at MIT’s Media Lab have been dumping toxic wastewater underground, violating state environmental laws and endangering local waterways, wildlife and even young children and pets.
“I took every action I could, to go through the right channels to address it,” former MIT researcher Babak Babakinejad, who exposed the dumping, told ProPublica. “I came to a point that I realized that the institution, apparently, has made a decision not to address this.”
Adding to the drama, the specific lab accused of dumping the wastewater is the MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative, which was behind a much-hyped robotic agriculture project that was called a scam by employees earlier this month.
In January, local regulators from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection started an inquiry into water quality. Since MIT was not able to hand over water quality reports, the department started an official investigation.
City wastewater treatment plants are usually able to handle those levels of nitrogen, but the water was dumped in a rural facility 20 miles north of MIT’s main campus that lacks a public sewer system, as ProPublica points out.
READ MORE: MIT Media Lab Kept Regulators in the Dark, Dumped Chemicals in Excess of Legal Limit [ProPublica]
More on MIT’s Media Lab: Report: MIT’s Much-Hyped Robotic Agriculture Project is a Sham