Schoharie County

Company ordered to donate to flood relief after Middleburgh spill

The town of Middleburgh will get $50,000 to use toward flood recovery following a spill at a pharmac

The town of Middleburgh will get $50,000 to use toward flood recovery following a spill at a pharmaceutical laboratory, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

APR LLC and its former vice-president, John Lomans, also were required to establish a $500,000 escrow account in order to clean up a leach field at 1974 Route 145, located just south of the village near Huntersland Hill Road.

According to the DEC, Lomans had authority at the company during a time when several chemicals were dumped into a sink, contaminating the groundwater.

The Sept. 27 consent order marks the third instance Lomans was cited for violations of environmental conservation law. The most recent instance was discovered this summer after another company, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd,, purchased the property and buildings.

The new company commissioned an environmental review that revealed the groundwater there is contaminated with methlylene chloride, MTBE, toluene and other chemicals, according to the consent order.

Methlylene chloride is a volatile chemical considered a potential carcinogen; MTBE, or methyl-t-butyl-ether, is flammable; and toluene is a volatile solvent linked to birth defects, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency.

The chemicals made it into the leach field and groundwater when contaminated laboratory equipment was washed in a sink at the lab, according to the DEC.

Lomans and APR were fined $55,000 for the violations, in addition to being ordered to spend $50,000 on a public benefit project, another form of punishment in the DEC’s arsenal.

DEC Region 4 spokesman Rick Georgeson said in an email Monday that specifics of the public benefit project have not yet been identified, but it will be for flood relief.

Two years ago, Lomans was the subject of another consent order issued after DEC inspectors found flammable toxic waste sitting around the facility in containers without labels. The DEC logged 22 storage and record-keeping violations and issued a $10,000 fine in that case.

Inspectors also found tractor-trailers loaded with 55-gallon drums stacked so tightly there was no way to inspect them for leaks.

A decade earlier, Lomans was cited by the DEC after a spill at his former company, Delachem, contaminated a nearby trout stream.

Lomans could not be reached Monday.

Categories: Schenectady County

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