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Post date: July 18 2001

Spitzer Announces Settlement With Perry's Ice Cream To End Odor Problems At Plant

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with Perry's Ice Cream Co. that should end an odor problem at the company's plant that has plagued residents of Akron and Newstead for over a decade.

The noxious odors occurred when water used to clean and sanitize the company's machinery was pumped into three outdoor lagoons for treatment. At times, particularly during warm weather, the waste water would become stagnant and give off a strong odor.

Spitzer got involved in the situation last summer in response to complaints to his office from those living near the plant.

During the course of, and in response to, the Attorney General's investigation, Perry's made major upgrades to its waste treatment facilities and closed the largest of the three lagoons. The company has now agreed to take additional steps that should completely eliminate the odor problem.

"This settlement literally brings a breath of fresh air to residents of Akron and Newstead," said Spitzer. "For too long, those living near Perry's were often not able to enjoy Western New York's spectacular summer weather. Now thanks to this agreement, area residents will be able to once again keep their windows open and enjoy their yards and neighborhoods."

Among the steps being taken by the company:

  • The addition of a new chemical treatment process for the waste water;
  • Ongoing monitoring of the waste water system and odor hot spots;
  • Adding designated, qualified professionals to oversee the operation and maintenance of the waste water treatment process on a daily basis between May and September;
  • Having an emergency source of oxygen on hand to ensure that the lagoons remain fresh;
  • A continued commitment to work with town officials to maintain an odor reporting hotline and respond to residents' complaints.

In response to the announcement, one of the residents who lives near the plant, Jean Rew, said "I want to thank the Attorney General for helping with the odor problem at Perry's. We've been living with a horrible stench every summer since 1990 and the last five or six years have been unbearable. Now, for the first summer in many we can have our windows open, enjoy our yards and let our children play outside. I, as well as my neighbors, are very pleased that the Attorney General has made Perry's take care of this problem."

Spitzer noted that Perry's has been cooperative with his office. The company admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Jane Cameron and Environmental Scientists Peter Skinner and Ray Vaughan of Spitzer's Environment Protection Bureau, which is headed by Peter Lehner.