A spill that shut down a stretch of Route 28 and Ohayo Mountain Road for hours on Tuesday afternoon was messy, but not dangerous, officials say.
The spill occurred sometime before on Tuesday, when a tractor-trailer traveling in West Hurley began leaking fluid from several large drums. During the response and cleanup, Route 28 was closed for several hours between Route 375 and Zena Road, and Ohayo Mountain Road remained closed into the late afternoon. Onteora Central School District was asked by police to keep children inside while the spill was investigated, and the spill delayed district buses at the end of the school day.
The substance that spilled was a non-toxic acrylic compound used in magazine processing, Ulster County Emergency Communications director Art Snyder.
"The trucker was lost. He wound up on Ohayo Mountain Road, and when he did, some of the stuff broke loose and spilled," Snyder said. "It created a slippery situation, but not a toxic situation."
The trucker was also hauling some chemicals that would have reacted violently to the spilled fluid or to water, Snyder said. Because of the danger of the two chemicals mixing, he said, a hazmat team was dispatched to ensure the safety of the site.
The spill affected a stretch of Route 28 that runs near the east basin of the Ashokan Reservoir, an important source of New York City drinking water. New York City Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Adam Bosch said the spill did not reach the reservoir.
"None of the spill was on city land. There are no concerns, as far as we're concerned," Bosch said.
State Department of Environmental Conservation spokesperson Wendy Rosenbach said that the amount of the spill was estimated to be about 120 gallons, some of which spilled inside the truck and did not leak out.
Rosenbach also provided a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the substance, described as a non-hazardous acrylic emulsion polymer.
The tractor-trailer company hired a consultant to clean up the spill the same day, Rosenbach said.