Request Legal Help Now - Free



Wallkill, NY: (May-30-07) Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office filed suit against HSBC Bank USA over environmental issues regarding an abandoned chemical manufacturing facility in the town of Wallkill. HSBC Bank agreed to pay $850,000 in civil penalties and reimburse the state of New York for approximately $68,000 in costs incurred as a result of the abandonment of hundreds of drums, tanks and containers at the Westwood Chemical Company, located on Tower Drive.

Westwood manufactured and marketed chemicals for the cosmetics and water treatment industries, resulting in significant quantities of hazardous laboratory waste, chemical products and wastewater. The Attorney General's lawsuit alleged that after HSBC seized Westwood's operating funds in 2004, Westwood was forced to close its doors, leaving behind hundreds of containers of abandoned chemicals and products within and outside the company's buildings. Since heat inside the building was not maintained during winter, pipes froze and the fire suppression system broke. This left numerous chemical containers to freeze and leak and created a substantial fire and explosion risk. The Attorney General's suit alleged that HSBC knew of the abandoned chemicals, the frozen pipes and the lack of a fire suppression system, but did not contact the DEC or any state or local emergency responder to report the threat, as required by New York law. Following an investigation by a town building inspector in Feb 2005, the potential hazards were identified, leading to the lawsuit. Town officials contacted DEC, who, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, removed the chemicals and secured the facility. [MID HUDSON NEWS: ABANDONED FACILITY]

Legal Help

If you have a similar problem and would like to be contacted by a lawyer at no cost or obligation, please click the link below.
Published on May-31-07


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Request Legal Help Now! - Free