By Matthew Saari

For failing to report a sewage spill in October, Whitehall received a notice from the state Department of Environmental Conservation warning the village had violated state law.

Mayor Phil Smith presented the notice at the December village meeting.

“This is from the DEC,” Smith said. “This is the first slap on the wrist that we’ve gotten from them regarding the sewage issue.”

The letter, dated Nov. 16, states the village of Whitehall violated the state Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act for failing to report a sewage spill to both the DEC and to local residents.

The act requires all sewage treatment facilities to report a raw or partially-treated sewage spill within two hours of discovery to the DEC and Department of Health and within four hours of discovery to neighboring municipalities and the public.

The spill in question occurred on Oct. 2 on Skene Street when the roots of a tree, located on private land, compromised a village sewer line causing a backup of untreated sewage to discharge into the basement of Whitehall resident Christina Steves.

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.




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