A boat repair company has paid a $3,000 penalty and agreed to comply with state environmental laws after a state investigation faulted it for allowing paint chips to fall into Otsego Lake in Cooperstown.
The lake is the source of public drinking water for the village of Cooperstown, as well as for owners of many camps along the lake.
Workers for a company called Winter Harbor LLC, based in Central Square were spotted scraping the Glimmerglass Queen, a tour boat owned by the Lake Front Hotel on Fair Street, in preparation of a paint job when the paint chips blew in the water, an eyewitness has told The Daily Star.
The witness said he then alerted a state Department of Environmental Conservation enforcement officer, who opened up the investigation. That was in late April.
The agency then negotiated a consent order that has been signed by the company’s owner, Thomas Pirro. The company waived its right to a hearing and agreed to refrain from further such violations, according to the order, which has been obtained by The Daily Star.
Leslie Corrigan, a Winter Harbor manager, said the company cleaned up the paint chips immediately and erected a new containment structure around the boat before resuming the scraping.
She said unexpected strong gusts of wind led to the problems experienced by the paint crew.
“Everything that could go wrong went wrong,” she said. “We were just slammed by weather.”
The paint chips were removed from the lake and bagged, Corrigan said. The paint product in question, she said, is not classified as a hazardous material.
The hotel’s web site says the Glimmerglass Queen has a capacity of up to 50 people and is the only tour boat operating on the lake daily during tourist season.