One Upstate New Yorker is paying the price after keeping this massive oil spill a secret.

When oil of any sort spills, it's no mistake to take lightly. Not only is it extremely dangerous to it's immediate environment, but it can cause greater harm the farther the oil spreads. That's why it's important to report it immediately.

Unfortunately, this spill was much messier than it should have been.

Writing a ticket
John Roman

Flashback to July

Several months ago, the Department of Environmental Conservation received reports there was a smell of petroleum on Lasher Creek in Montgomery County. Not only this, but there was also a visible sheen on the surface of the water as well.

As a tributary to the Mohawk River, this could spread extremely fast if not controlled.

ECO Wilson responded to the scene with assistance of Kevin Sarnowicz from the DEC Spills Response program. They confirmed the oil spill and traced it upstream to a nearby business off State Route Highway 162. Wilson interviewed the property owner, who admitted to several things.

Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

First, the spill was the result of an equipment failure two days prior. It had spilt around 200 gallons of fuel since then. In addition, the property owner also admitted to not reporting the spill or taking action to clean it up.

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Investigators work hard each day to serve their communities, protect our precious natural resources, and safeguard public health, while ensuring those who break the state's stringent Environmental Conservation Laws are held accountable.

The man was then issued three tickets for prohibited discharge of petroleum, failure to report a spill, and pollution of water in contravention of standards.

Fast Forward to Today

The property owner appeared in Root Town Court where he settled his criminal charges. He accepted a plea agreement with a fine of $3,975.

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But that wasn't all. The defendant also accepted the cleanup costs and is working alongside the DEC Spill Response Experts to clean the spill.

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