Saratoga County

DEC fines Saratoga County $2,000

Saratoga County has agreed to pay the state a $2,000 fine for what county officials acknowledge w


Saratoga County has agreed to pay the state a $2,000 fine for what county officials acknowledge was an environmental violation in operating an incinerator at the county animal shelter in Milton.

The fine for not having a thermal sensor in the main combustion chamber of the gas-fired incinerator was a negotiated settlement with DEC, county officials said Wednesday.

“They’re asking for a payment of $2,000 in lieu of going to court, and battling it out in court,” County Administrator David A. Wickerham said.

The county Law and Finance Committee approved the settlement Wednesday, sending it to the full Board of Supervisors for a vote on Tuesday.

The incinerator in question was one of two at the county animal shelter, and has been taken permanently out of service, said Animal Shelter Director Dan Butler.

The risk of not knowing the temperature in the combustion chamber is that biological materials might not be completely destroyed. But Butler said a separate monitor showed the incinerator’s air emissions were always at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which he said is sufficient to destroy any pathogens.

Butler said the animal shelter uses an incinerator about once a week to dispose of deceased animals. While some are dogs or cats that have been euthanised at the shelter, the shelter also accepts, for a fee, dead animals from veterinarians or individual pet owners. It also takes deer and other roadkill brought in by municipal highway crews.

The incinerator is in a separate building from the new animal shelter than opened in October; it was not replaced as part of that $5.3 million project.

The violation was on an incinerator the county purchased in 1995. A new incinerator was purchased in 2006, and Butler said the older incinerator had been used only as a backup since then. He said the 2006 furnace has the required internal temperature sensor.

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