Oil From Transformers Dumped to Access Copper
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking information from the public throughout the north country and central New York relating to the draining of up to 4,000 gallons of transformer oil and the theft of copper from transformers at the former Deferiet Paper Mill located in the Village of Deferiet, Jefferson County.
DEC is investigating the deliberate dumping of the “non-PCB” transformer oil which was done to facilitate the theft of copper. In addition to copper wire, three inch-wide solid copper “Buss Bar” in various lengths, and four inch-diameter conduit which contained three one-half-inch twisted strands of copper wire were stolen. The oil release is believed to have occurred between June 16 and 29, 2011.
Brookfield Renewable Power owns the two transformers that were damaged. After discovering the release, Brookfield notified DEC. Cleanup efforts and an investigation began June 30, including efforts to keep the oil out of the Black River.
The investigation is being conducted jointly by the New York State Conservation Police and State Police.
Anyone with information regarding this theft and spill is urged to contact DEC Division of Law Enforcement on its tip hotline at 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332). Information pertaining to the sale of the large copper “Buss Bar” and copper wire would be extremely helpful. Brookfield Renewable Power has offered a $1,000 dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in this crime. Callers may remain anonymous.