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Cleanup of Patchogue Auto Repair Shop a Success

Release Date: 11/10/2004
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(#04175) NEW YORK -- With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) providing oversight, the current owner of the former Minty Auto Sales in Patchogue, New York, has completed a short-term cleanup of waste chemicals left on his property by a previous owner.

"Working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County District Attorney, we were able to convince the owner to clean out the potentially hazardous materials and quickly eliminate a serious threat to the community," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "The work was paid for by the owner and completed in a very short time."

Minty Auto Sales is a defunct auto body repair shop adjacent to State Highway 112, in a mixed residential/commercial area of downtown Patchogue, across the street from Medford Avenue Elementary School. The repair shop closed two years ago when the previous owner abandoned the property. The site was subsequently sold to a developer, who has not yet redeveloped the property.

Acting on anonymous information, including photographs showing containers of waste chemicals, EPA performed an assessment of the site on October 18, 2004 and found over 50 five-gallon pails of chemical wastes in a small box trailer; many of the pails were labeled as flammable. The Agency also found a 30-gallon drum of oily rags, a 55-gallon drum of waste automotive paint and car batteries. EPA and local authorities contacted the current owner about the situation, and advised him to containerize and dispose of the wastes. Cleanup work began on October 20, and the wastes were removed from the site on October 29. More than 3,500 pounds of hazardous wastes were shipped from the site to an EPA-approved incineration facility in Kentucky for use as a supplemental fuel, and the car batteries were shipped to Pennsylvania for recycling.