Advance planning prevents escape of oil after rollover

KINDERHOOK—A tanker truck full of home heating oil that overturned at the U.S. Route 9/State Route 9H traffic circle September 12 around noon was traveling at a speed too fast for conditions, according to State Police at Kinderhook, who investigated.

The accident involved a Long Energy truck that rolled over on its passenger side and spilled the bulk of its 8,000-gallon load of heating oil at the roundabout by the Hannaford Plaza.

The impact of the rollover caused the tanker to rupture. The driver, Paul Rondeau, 30, of Watervliet, was cited for speed not reasonable and prudent.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reports that the driver of the tanker will not be charged criminally in the matter, but administratively he will be charged with fourth degree release of hazardous substances to the environment.

The traffic circle was closed for about six hours while the state Department of Transportation (DOT), the Columbia County Highway Department and the Kinderhook Highway Department removed the spilled fuel. At 12:30 p.m. a State of Emergency was declared in a two-mile radius of the incident. Area businesses were closed as a precaution.

State Police were assisted at the scene by the DEC, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County Office of Emergency Management and numerous local fire departments.

All roadways that were closed due to the fuel spill were reopened shortly after 11 a.m. September 13.

The DEC Spill Response Team determined that the fuel that was not contained on the roadways and entered the storm drains and was held in a storm drainage pond. State officials do not believe there is any impact to local water supplies. About 5,000 gallons was drained from the surface roads with the remainder entering the storm drains or still in the tanker truck.

According to former Kinderhook Town Planning Board Chairman and current Columbia County Environmental Management Council Chairman Ed Simonsen, the roundabout came about as the result of Widewaters, a development firm, looking to construct numerous retail buildings near the site. At the public hearing on the project many Planning Board members and residents questioned the radius of the roundabout as being too small, despite DOT assurances that “it would work and be better than sliced bread,” Mr. Simonsen said in an email.

Because drainage was among planning board concerns, the retention pond at the rear was required along with oil separators in the catch basins. The board also required that Widewaters not construct any permanent structures close to the roundabout to leave room to enlarge the circle in the future and also that the developer designate a section of its site for future cross-access.

Mr. Simonsen questioned what would have happened if the tanker had contained gasoline instead of home heating oil?

“From the standpoint of the driver of an automobile in the roundabout as long as you follow the law it works very well. A savings in time and energy,” he said. But added, “the Columbia County Safety Committee should be requested to evaluate the safety/ease of use of the roundabout for long tractor trailers.”


Joseph C. Meicht, 36, of Claverack, was charged with third degree grand larceny, a class D felony and first degree offering a false instrument for filing, a class E felony, September 12 following the conclusion of joint investigation by State Police and the state Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance Investigation Section.

The investigation revealed that Mr. Meicht was allegedly collecting unemployment insurance while being employed by Columbia County as an equipment operator and the Town of Greenport as a police officer.

He was arraigned in Claverack Court and released on his own recognizance. He is set to reappear in court November 12.


Copake Resident Deputy David Proper reports that a bicycle has been found and political signs are missing.

Deputy Proper said he was called to the West Copake residence of Elizabeth Siebert August 21 to pick up a bicycle that Ms. Siebert found by the roadside. Ms. Siebert was out walking around looking for her own bicycle that had been stolen off her front porch two days earlier when she came upon the 18-speed Power Climber in the grass. Nobody has reported the bike missing, said the deputy. The owner of the bike is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 518 828-3344 and ask for him to make arrangements to get it back.

Deputy Proper also reports that at least two dozen political signs publicizing the candidacy of Glenn Schermerhorn for town justice, Jonathan Nichols for county judge and David Bartlett for sheriff have been stolen from lawns throughout Copake over the past two weeks.

The deputy reminds everyone that sign-swipers may be charged with larceny of the signs and trespassing for going on private property to get them. Anyone with information about the missing signs should call the deputy at the Sheriff’s Office.


The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Alysha A. Narzynski, 20, of Schodack Landing was charged with obstructing governmental administration, a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana by State Police from Kinderhook in Stuyvesant, August 5. Two Valatie men were also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana at the time. All were issued tickets to appear in Stuyvesant Court at a later date.

*Anna A. Lie-Nielsen, 19, of Hudson was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of possession of a hypodermic instrument by Hudson Police Officer William Wrigley at 217 Allen Street in Hudson, August 6 at 10:28 a.m.

Ms. Lie-Nielsen allegedly possessed four glassine envelopes containing an off-white powder that field-tested positive for heroin and three hypodermic instruments, one of which had a liquid that field-tested positive for heroin. She was issued appearance tickets to return to Hudson City Court at a later date.

*Giosue J. VanAlstyne, 27, of Hillsdale was charged with resisting arrest and criminal possession of a controlled substance by Hudson Police Officer Kevin Sweet at 359 State Street, August 8 at 1:47 a.m. Mr. VanAlstyne allegedly possessed a glass smoking device which he tried to conceal from police. The device field-tested positive for crack/cocaine. He was arraigned before City Judge Mark Portin and released on his own recognizance to return to City Court September 12.

*Ashley N. Winters, 25, of Tivoli was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance by Hudson Police Officer William Wrigley at the police station, August 8 at 2:28 p.m. Ms. Winters allegedly possessed drug paraphernalia which field-tested positive for cocaine. She was arraigned in City Court before Judge Mark Portin and sent to the county jail in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond, to return at a later date.

*Lindsay J. Brooks, 21, of Burlington, CT, was charged with littering and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by State Police from New Lebanon, August 23 at 11:15 p.m. Troopers stopped Ms. Brooks on State Route 22, Canaan after seeing her disposing of refuse. They found her to be in possession of marijuana. She was issued tickets ordering her to appear in Canaan Court at a later date.

*Raymond E. Christiansen, Jr., 39, of Pine Plains was charged with and unlawful possession of fireworks and unlawful possession of marijuana, both violations, by State Police from Livingston during a traffic stop on State Route 9 in Clermont, August 24 at 9:45 p.m. Mr. Christiansen was issued tickets ordering him to appear in Clermont Court at a later date.

*Charles D. Cassara, 61, of Mahopac was charged with driving while intoxicated by State Police from New Lebanon, August 24. Troopers stopped Mr. Cassara for vehicle and traffic law violations on County Route 7 in Copake and found him to be intoxicated. He provided a breath sample with a .09% blood alcohol content. He was issued uniform traffic tickets to appear in Copake Court at a later date.

*Kimberly A. Sagone, 28, of New Lebanon was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by State Police from New Lebanon, August 25 at 2:20 a.m. Troopers stopped Ms. Sagone after seeing her fail to come to a complete stop at the intersection of West Street and State Route 20, New Lebanon. She was subsequently found to be in possession of Suboxone and marijuana. She was issued tickets ordering her to appear in New Lebanon Court at a later time.

*Loren Kilmer, 18, of Troy was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and crossing road hazard markings by State Police from Kinderhook, September 2. Troopers stopped Ms. Kilmer State Route 9H, Kinderhook after seeing her cross hazard markings numerous times. She was subsequently found to be in possession of marijuana. She was issued tickets returnable in Kinderhook Town Court at a later date.


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