Chemical Company To Halt Shipments Past Elementary School

Attorney General Spitzer today announced an agreement with Borden Chemical, Inc. that will halt truck shipments of chemicals past Moreau Elementary School in Saratoga County in order to reduce the risk to children. Spitzer also announced that the Town of Moreau has adopted a local law explicitly restricting chemical trucks from driving past the school, thus resolving a lawsuit he filed against Borden and the town.

"The town and the company have taken steps that put the health and safety of school children first, as it should be," said Attorney General Spitzer. "From now on, trucks loaded with toxic chemicals will no longer drive by the school."

The agreement was finalized Oct. 8 when it was signed by Saratoga County State Supreme Court Judge Frank Williams.

Spitzer had asked the town to enact such a law, and the company to abide by such a traffic restriction, which was a condition of the siting approval for the Borden plant in 1997. Unfortunately, the company and town did not respond. The Attorney General's office then sued the company and the town on July 28, 2003. The lawsuit alleged that 15 to 20 trucks carrying toxic chemicals pass by the school each day, creating an environmental and public health hazard and violating state law.

Borden Chemical has agreed to inform its truckers about their obligation to comply with the town's new traffic restriction.

Spitzer's office was alerted to the traffic problem by concerned local residents. State investigators found that trucks that regularly drive past the school contain hazardous chemicals such as sulfuric acid, caustic soda, phenol, triethanolamine and methanol.

In 1997, the Town of Moreau approved the siting of the Borden chemical plant with the condition that trucks driving to and from the facility avoid the section of Bluebird Road west of Fort Edward Road, where the school is located. As a condition of the environmental review and approval under the state Environmental Quality Review Act, this prohibition was binding on the town and the company.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Feiner and Norman Spiegel of the Attorney General's Environmental Protection Bureau.