2.1.2 Site Background/History
The Site was originally operated as a waste hauling and disposal business until the 1950’s by Austin and Elizabeth Scully, Stanley Scully’s parents. During this time, the Site apparently accepted household and industrial refuse which was deposited on
a steeply sloping escarpment that extends down to Sylvan Glen Creek on the eastern side of the study area. Review of available aerial photographs during the Remedial Investigation indicated that waste disposal activities began sometime between 1948 and 1957. Furthermore, these photographs suggest that the refuse area was devoid of significant vegetation until sometime in the mid 1970’s. Stanley Scully began operation of the S.O.S. Septic Tank Service from the Site in the 1960’s. This was primarily a septic tank repair/cleaning service where the pumped tank contents were legally disposed by spreading on farm-lands. However, the S.O.S. Septic Tank Service also reportedly disposed of liquid industrial wastes as well as septic wastes at the Site. These may have included liquid waste which S.O.S. Septic Service removed from the General Electric Company (GE) French Road plant located in Utica, New York between 1966 and 1973.
Mr. Harold Mallory, a former employee of S.O.S. Septic Tank Service, had alleged that liquid wastes were removed from several drums at the French Road facility and transferred to a 1,500-gallon tank truck. Subsequently, these materials were transported to the Site and deposited in two trenches located in the upper portion of the property. After emplacement into the trenches, the liquid wastes were allowed to infiltrate into the ground. According to Mr. Alsace Cragnolin, owner of the adjacent property to the north, liquids may also have been used for controlling dust on the driveway leading to the barn and trench areas.
In a March 25, 1985 Daily Press article, Stanley Scully, owner of S.O.S. Septic Tank Service, said he spread the mixture on dirt roads throughout Oneida County, but doesn't remember where.
Concerned Citizens found another news article that might shed some light on Mr. Harold Mallory's allegations and Mr. Scully's recollection.
First some history. Mr. Scully and Mr. Cragnolin owned neighboring parcels of land on Valley View Road. One of the Cragnolins worked for Mr. Scully in his garbage hauling business. Peter Cragnolin was the developer for the homes on Taber Road also known as the Glen Acres Development, located just down the hill from the Scully dump site. It is safe to say that the Cragnolins and Scullys know each other.
In a Sept. 21, 1961 article in the Daily Press it was noted:
A delegation of the Glen Acres Association complained to the board [New Hartford Town Board] over the condition of Taber Rd.Now we'll ask again...where did Mr. Scully dump that oily substance? If the oily substance was used over on Taber Road to keep down the dust, did the D.E.C. test the soil over there or did they just assume that the contamination was contained only on the land owned by the Scullys? And if General Electric wasn't involved until 1966, as reported on the Lockheed Martin website,
Donald Fredericks, 37 Taber Rd., spokesman for the delegation, asked if Taber Rd. residents were not entitled to have the road properly maintained.
Evan E. Roberts, supervisor, said the road has not been accepted by the town. He said it was a town policy not to accept a road in a development until 75 per cent of the lots were built on.
Fredericks said there were about 50 lots and 16 to 18 houses built in the development.
Robert Morris, town attorney, said the developer, Peter Cragnolin, 31 Taber Rd., posted a $7,000 performance bond with the town and that it is up to him to maintain the road. The bond was posted Aug. 6. 1957. Fredericks said conditions on the road had been bad "for five years." He said the road was oiled by Cragnolin recently and the oil "just laid around in puddles. It ruined $1,200 worth of rugs I have in my living room," Fredericks said.
"S.O.S. Septic Tank Service reportedly transported industrial waste from the former General Electric Company (GE) French Road plant in Utica, N.Y., from 1966 to 1973 and disposed of the waste at a property located at 204 Valley View Road in New Hartford"then just where was Mr. Cragnolin getting the oily substance that lay in puddles in the middle of Taber Road in 1961? More importantly, who was minding the store when Mr. Scully was still using a dump site in 1966 that was closed by a Supreme Court order in 1961?
As we all know, water runs downhill and indeed it does in the Sherman Hills area of New Hartford...a constant area of stormwater flooding problems. So just what will you find seeping into your yard next time it rains and what has already been deposited there?
Yet the Observer Dispatch says Valley View Contamination Cleaned Up. According to that article:
...site uses for the 2.3-acre property will be limited only by town laws and zoning, said Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.That means even more residential development...more impervious surfaces...more stormwater runoff...more...more...more! Look out below!!
There are so many questions when you really start to look into this situation...is a Class Action lawsuit just waiting around the corner? Have something to add to our story. Email us or use our anonymous tip line...we want to hear from you.
If you haven't read Strikeslip's blogs on this subject, here are the links:
Toxic Cover Up in New Hartford