Terrance P. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Hancock Central School District
67 Education Lane
Hancock, New York 13783
Dear Dr. Dougherty,
On November 1, 2022, staff from the New York State Department of Health's (NYSDOH's) Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment and Oneonta District Office inspected the Hancock Elementary School in response to complaints received from several parents about odors associated with a sewage leak discovered on September 29, 2022. This leak of approximately 800 gallons of sewage to the crawlspace of the school was subsequently cleaned up by contractors hired by the Hancock Central School district. The attached report summarizes the circumstances of the sewage leak, the cleanup efforts, and the observations of NYSDOH staff during the November 1st inspection of the school. While staff of the New York State Department of Education did not participate in the inspection, we made them aware of our visit and they were supportive of our efforts.
Prior to our visit, the New York State Department of Labor Public Employee Safety & Health
(PESH) also did an inspection of the school on October 26, 2022, after the leaked sewage was cleaned up. PESH conducted air testing, which included monitoring for hydrogen sulfide and did not reveal any air quality issues at the school. A copy of that report is also attached.
If you have any questions regarding our report, please contact us. Should there be questions about the sewage leak, or concerns about air quality or school practices, etc., it's probably best that these be directed to the Hancock School District and to the District's Health and Safety Committee. Per New York State Education Department regulations, each District is responsible to form a Health and Safety Committee who must respond to parent/community concerns of this nature (see https:ljwww.p12.nysed.gov/facp1an/articles/GuidelinesfortheHea1thandSafetyCommittee.htm1
for additional information).
Please click the attachment for the full report.