Local Matters

Community Sponsors

O-AT-KA Milk Products

September 20, 2019 - 9:50am
Video Sponsor

For the 30th year in a row, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, along with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Genesee County Farm Bureau, and the Soil & Water Conservation District conducted the Decision Makers Ag Tour.

The tour started off at the fairgrounds with a talk by Bill Schreiber, CEO of O-AT-KA Milk Products Co-Operative Inc. Then the group visited Autumn Moon Farm Winery, Black Creek Cidery, and Sweet Life Country Store, which included representatives from Circle B Winery.

September 11, 2018 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, batavia, business, news.

Press release:

O-AT-KA Milk Products, of Batavia, is proud to announce the completion of its recent 20,000- square-foot building expansion. The walls are up and the equipment is installed, but the most important piece – the people – is the final stage of the project.

The expansion, nicknamed Project Gator, is the third of its kind in the past six years and will boost O-AT-KA’s current workforce of 440 employees, as promised during the planning phase. Support from local municipalities, the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Empire State Development made the expansion a reality.

“I am so pleased to see a great hometown company like O-AT-KA continue to grow, thrive and add 40 new jobs to be filled by local residents," said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia). "Our area is primed for growth and it makes us a stronger community to witness a commitment like this from a great homegrown company like O-AT-KA.

"New York’s agricultural industry is one of the best in the country and that is a testament to the dedicated and innovative farmers and dairy producers we have right here in Western New York. I wish O-AT-KA the best of luck and success moving forward.”

The expansion has significantly expanded O-AT-KA’s beverage capabilities and ability to meet growing customer demand. Production and packaging lines are currently undergoing thorough quality testing before full production starts early this fall.

“The work we do matters," said CEO Bill Schreiber. "We partner with our customers to create unique products while adding value to local milk. The ongoing efforts of our team have resulted in sustained growth and investment for the business, while supporting our dairy farmer owners and creating a rewarding work environment for our employees.

"New employees have an immediate opportunity to succeed and learn new skills. They also have the opportunity to grow as individuals and be part of a winning team.”

Hiring has begun, with the intention to fill 40 additional jobs immediately.

"We’ve grown by more than 150 team members since 2015. We plan to hire and train an additional 40 individuals," said Donna Maxwell, VP of Human Resources. “The work we do here serves our farmer-owners and supports local agriculture. We’re looking for people with a farmer’s work ethic; people who take pride in their work.

"As a premier employer in Western New York, we offer an outstanding compensation and benefits package along with the opportunity for career growth for those who desire it. Our Pay for Skill program allows employees who learn more to earn more. In fact, many of our employees – about 40 percent – commute from outside Genesee County because the employment package O-AT-KA has to offer -- pay, benefits and career opportunity -- just can’t be beat.”

January 11, 2018 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, batavia, business.

Press release:

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc., a dairy cooperative based in Genesee County, will construct a more than 20,000-square-foot addition at its production facility.

In an effort to meet the growing demand of its customers, the cooperative will install a new retort beverage production line and install support equipment at its facility located at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott in the City of Batavia. The additional space will facilitate the addition of up to 20 new jobs; 440 jobs will be retained.

The cooperative expects to have the new line up and running sometime next fall.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is supporting the growth of food processing companies, like O-AT-KA dairy cooperative, which will be retaining hundreds of jobs and hiring additional employees to help them on their path to continued success.”

O-AT-KA’s production facility ensures there is a market for milk produced by more than 400 farms in the Western, Finger Lakes and Central New York regions.

The cooperative is majority owned by Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York and also by Dairy Farmers of America, a cooperative with a strong presence in Central New York.

Michael Fuchs, O-AT-KA’s Chief Financial Officer and project manager said, “This project supports our continued growth and will allow us to meet growing market demands for our products.

"The support we continue to receive from ESD, GCEDC and our Board of Directors is a testament to their commitment to the livelihood of our dairy farmer owners and to our position as a leading employer in Western New York.”

Empire State Development is providing a total of up to $750,000 for the project through a Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Grant. Genesee County Economic Development Agency also offered incentives for the enterprise. The total project cost is $34.5 million.

Supporting agribusiness is a top priority for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the locally designed the Finger Lakes Forward economic development plan.

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said, “The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is committed to supporting projects that grow jobs. Agriculture is an important industry and a key driver of our regional economy.

"This expansion project will also create solid opportunities for area farmers, shaping the future of the region’s agricultural industry, helping to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said, "Agribusiness is Genesee County's number one economic driver, and growing demand for milk products produced by our local dairy farmers will help to reinforce this important industry.

"Today's announcement by O-AT-KA Milk Products will further strengthen our local economy. I commend Genesee County's largest private-sector employer for continuing to create jobs for Western New York residents."

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “Economic development and business expansion, especially when it comes to the dairy sector, is tremendously important to our region. I am pleased to see that not only will O-AT-KA be expanding its production, but also adding 20 new jobs to solidify itself as a top-tier producer in Western New York.

"The support of businesses and job creation at the state level benefits our entire community, and this is a prime example of our state’s agricultural sector rising to one of the best in the nation. I look forward to the continued prominence of our area’s farmers and producers and am proud to share in their success.”

Steve Hyde, president & chief executive officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, said, “The GCEDC is proud to assist O-AT-KA Milk Products, the largest private sector employer in Genesee County, to expand its operations. O-AT-KA is an industry leader through innovation and commitment to excellence.

"Through our collaboration with Empire State Development and the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, we are demonstrating that companies like O-AT-KA can grow and prosper in New York State.”

O-AT-KA’s name was taken from the Seneca Native Americans, and means leaving the highlands or approaching an opening. The “highlands” refers to Wyoming County, New York and the “opening” refers to the Genesee River flowing into Lake Ontario.

The cooperative opened in 1959 with only five employees and has since grown to provide employment tomore than 440 people contributing to growth in the local economy. O-AT-KA has long-term business relationships with many Fortune 500 listed manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers.

July 14, 2016 - 12:20pm

Pictured at the ribbon-cutting ceremony are, back from left: Mark Niederpruem, Warehouse manager; Dan Wolf, chairman of Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.; Dave Nutting, VIP Structures; Front from left: Paul Battaglia, chairman of Genesee County Economic Development Center; Bill Schreiber, CEO; Michael Patterson, CFO; Larry Webster, CEO Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.; and John Gould, chairman of O-AT-KA.

Submitted photos and press release:

O-AT-KA Milk Products is pleased to announce that it held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newly expanded warehousing storage and material handling facility in Batavia on July 11.

In attendance were O-AT-KA’s and Upstate Niagara Cooperative’s Board of Directors; key vendors and contractors for the project; banking representatives; local business leaders and invited guests.

“Project Rubicon affords O-AT-KA the opportunity to address three key focus points of our business; namely, employee safety, product quality and operational efficiencies," said Michael Patterson, O-AT-KA’s chief financial officer. "The viability of the project was supported via our strong relationships with the community, the municipalities and our key vendors and stakeholders."

O-AT-KA’s commitment to innovation is demonstrated within the expansion which added over 235,000 square feet to its Batavia plant. A second phase of the project has been initiated to capture efficiencies and optimize material handling equipment and processes. The new facility and equipment phase of the project allows the company to meet increasing customer demand, improve global competitiveness and allow for future growth of production capabilities. The project will significantly improve upon O-AT-KA’s already high standards of safety and quality.

“The implementation of Rubicon will advance our ability to serve customers, significantly improve our competitive position and is testimony to the vision and commitment of our farmer owners,” said Chief Executive Officer Bill Schreiber.

Founded in 1959, O-AT-KA is a manufacturer and co-packer of dairy-based products and ready-to-drink shelf stable beverages and is one of Genesee County’s largest employers. It is located at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott streets.

September 10, 2015 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, batavia, business, GCEDC.

oatkagroundbreakingsept102015.jpg

Officials with O-AT-KA Milk Products and Upstate Niagara Cooperative broke ground on a new warehouse expansion this morning at the company's plant off Ellicott Street, Batavia.

Participating in the top photo are Steve Hyde, Ray Cudney, Steve Golding, Bill Schreiber, Dan Wolf, John Gould, Dave Nutting and Mike Patterson. Second photo: Upstate's Board of Directors.

"This is an important day for the growth of the dairy industry in Western New York," said Wolf, a member of the cooperative's Board of Directors. "The 360 farms that I represent depend on this business and we're not going anywhere. This is our roots and we'll be here. We will continue to grow and develop here in Western New York, and (to) create jobs and so forth that go with that is critical to us."

oatkagroundbreakingsept102015-2.jpg

Press release from Finger Lakes Economic Development:

Empire State Development today announced that O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc., a dairy cooperative based in Batavia, will be expanding their warehouse and material handling functions at their Batavia site. O-AT-KA is majority owned by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., headquartered in Buffalo and also by Dairy Farmers of America, a cooperative with a strong presence in Central NY.

O-AT-KA helps to ensure there is a market for milk produced by more than 400 farms in the Western, Finger Lakes and Central NY regions. A new warehousing facility and equipment room will allow the cooperative to continue to grow its production and create 24 new full-time positions within three years, raising total employment to more than 350 positions.

“We consider this project to be a game changer,” said Michael Patterson, O-AT-KA’s chief financial officer. “This not only enables us to meet our immediate needs but positions O-AT-KA for growth into the future. Three factors driving this initiative are worker safety, food quality and operational efficiencies. These three legs of the stool will be the backbone supporting O-AT-KA’s continuing growth here in New York State.”

The economic support and assistance from local and state agencies were critical factors in undertaking this project. New York State, through Empire State Development, will provide a $400,000 capital grant to assist in bringing off-site warehousing back on site by building a 195,000-square-foot warehouse and a 35,000-square-foot equipment room to their existing facility.

The company will also purchase new material handling equipment and repurpose existing equipment. The new space will afford the company more efficiency, provide safety for workers, and allow for cost savings, thereby boosting their competitive edge in the market place.

The growth of on-site warehousing also enables the company to grow its production of shelf-stable, dairy-based beverages. O-AT-KA has a goal of increasing its export business by 10 percent over the next several years, which will result in approximately 25 percent of the total production being exported.

As the No. 1 manufacturing employer in Batavia, O-AT-KA strives to foster productive, long-term relationships with their employees. The cooperative, which produces dry, condensed and evaporated dairy products, was established in 1959 with five employees and has grown to 332.

“Agricultural and food processing has been identified as one of the top Finger Lakes REDC strategies,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “The O-AT-KA project aligns with the council’s goal to optimize business retention and expansion, and support the growth of food-processing companies in the region.”

“This commitment by New York State to O-AT-KA demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s support of economic development in Upstate New York and in particular to the agribusiness industry in Genesee County,” said Paul Battaglia, chairman of the Genesee County Economic Development Center. “We look forward to continuing working with New York State on other economic development opportunities."

"O-AT-KA has played a major role in our local economy for decades. Now, expansion plans, along with 24 new jobs, will help to secure the cooperative's presence in Batavia for years to come. I commend O-AT-KA CEO Bill Schreiber for selecting Genesee County to invest and grow," said State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer.

“I am pleased to see the growth and expansion of an important Western New York agricultural staple such as O-AT-KA. As a small business and farm owner for over four decades, I realize the integral part O-AT-KA plays in New York’s dairy industry and Western New York’s economy. Having grown up in Batavia, I have seen the company grow from just a few employees to over 300 people – truly epitomizing the American dream of entrepreneurship. As lawmakers we must continue to protect small businesses such as these and take measures to grow New York’s economy,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

August 14, 2015 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, business, GCEDC, batavia.

picsaug142015.jpg

With 344 employees, O-AT-KA Milk Products is already Genesee County's largest private employer, and CFO Michael Patterson promised the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board a taxpayer-assisted expansion will result in a workforce expanded by 21 positions.

The expansion, at a cost to O-AT-KA of $20 million, will result in greater efficiency, a product and market expansion and greater employee safety, Patterson said.

"This is a real game changer for O-AT-KA," Patterson said. "It will allow us to grow while we focus on efficiency and employee safety."

Patterson described the region as "heavy with milk," and the expansion will help O-AT-KA improve its capacity to create new products and expand into additional markets.

O-AT-KA is seeking $2.26 million in sales tax and property tax exemptions.

In making a motion to set a public hearing on O-AT-KA's application, Board Member Craig Yunker said, "This is really important to our region and our dairy industry, which is the back bone of our local economy. I don't know of a more important project."

The date of the hearing, which the board approved unanimously, has not yet been determined, but will be within the next two or three weeks so the board can vote on whether to grant the tax exemptions at its next meeting.

“This is a tremendous investment being made by one of the largest private-sector employers in Genesee County,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia. “It also demonstrates a long-term commitment to our community by the company in building a state-of-the-art facility to enhance its manufacturing operations now and in the future.”

August 11, 2015 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia, O-AT-KA Milk Products.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from O-AT-KA Milk Products at its Aug. 13 board meeting. 

O-AT-KA Milk Products plans to add 205,000 square feet of warehousing space to its manufacturing facility on the corner of Ellicott Street and Cedar Street in Batavia. The project is expected to create 21 new jobs and the capital investment is approximately $20.9 million.  

The GCEDC Board meeting is public and will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

June 12, 2015 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, batavia, land use, planning, O-AT-KA Milk Products, business.

A proposed expansion of the O-AT-KA Milk Products plant at Cedar Street and Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, received a vote of approval from the County Planning Board on Thursday night.

O-AT-KA is contemplating adding a 194,543-square-foot building and a 35,279-square-foot building that will serve as warehouse space and a distribution center.

A spokesman for O-AT-KA repeated several times to reporters last night that the expansion remains a proposal at this time. There's no information available on how O-AT-KA's business might be expanding as a result of the new space.

The location of the new structures would be on the east side of the plant with vehicle access off of Ellicott Street Road.

The board recommended approval of a site plan review with recommended modifications for a stormwater pollution-prevention plan prior to final approval by the city.

Also on Thursday:

The board recommended approval of a site plan review for a 1,620-square-foot addition to the Pavilion Public Library. The expansion, which will include a new children's wing, is funded in part by a $200,000 donation from Edgar Mary Louis Hollwedel. Deborah Davis said the library is also seeking a state grant. The size of that grant could exceed $200,000.

The board recommended disapproval of a zoning map change on South Lake Road in Pavilion. Superior Plus Energy Services was seeking the change to develop a bulk storage and truck distribution center for bulk propane. The 32-acre site is currently zoned agriculture-residential and Superior Plus Energy is seeking a change to industrial. Staff's recommendation was for disapproval because the change would be inconsistent with the town's comprehensive plan and the Future Land Use Map, which plans for agriculture use or residential with minimum lot sizes of five acres.

A planned Dollar General store in Pavilion received recommended approval for its sign. The sign design presented previously by Moeller Sign Co. wasn't approved because it would have meant a sign larger than currently allowed in the zoning code. The new design complies with the code.

May 31, 2014 - 2:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, environment, O-AT-KA Milk Products.

O-AT-KA Milk Products was issued a notice of violation by the DEC on April 24 for chemicals and waste materials being spilled into a lagoon south of Ellicott Street.

The company is complying with all DEC demands and requirements for dealing with spills from its dairy processing plant at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott streets, said David Crisp, director of business development for O-AT-KA.

The spills were brought to the attention of the DEC by Attica resident John Volpe (pictured above), a Native American well known locally for his environmental work.

Volpe said he's concerned about the health and well being of the fish, turtles, frogs and other wildlife in the lagoon, which is part of a 110-acre wildlife refuge owned by Chapin Manufacturing. The creatures, Volpe said, are part of the chain of life.

"This is how we look at our own life," Volpe said. "These are our teachers. All of our relations means just that. They’re all of our relations. You don’t leave out a worm or an eagle or whatever. We’re supposed to watch it and we’re supposed to protect it. That’s one of our jobs as among the people who walk this earth. It should be everybody’s job."

Volpe shared documents he said show serious environmental damage to the lagoon, including photos of more than 100 dead fish and dissection photos taken of dead animals -- such as turtles, frogs and fish -- showing medical issues (Volpe emphasized several times that he and his helpers never killed any animals, but merely took for samples and evidence animals they found dead).

The DEC letter accuses O-AT-KA of violating its SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit and three sections of environmental law.

The letter specifically accuses O-AT-KA of causing a drop in water quality standards for pH, solids and water color from spills on at least six separate occasions. The spills, according to the DEC, contained milk and/or cleaning solutions.

The letter also specifically cites a fish kill of various species April 15.

O-AT-KA was accused of discharging water that causes or contributes to conditions in violation of state code; discharging industrial waste in violation of state code; and discharging pollutants at a frequency or volume in excess of permitted standards.

The company was given until May 7 a turn over a document called "Best Management Practices" as well as a summary of response actions, investigations and corrective measures taken for each reported spill since August 2013. 

By yesterday, O-AT-KA was required to complete a facility review and submit a corrective action plan designed to prevent or minimize potential damage from future spills.

The DEC also required O-AT-KA to install a continuous recording pH meter.

Crisp said O-AT-KA has been fully compliant with the DEC's requirements, an assertion confirmed by Linda Vera, spokeswoman for the DEC in WNY. 

"O-AT-KA has taken a number of actions to mitigate and prevent additional discharges," Vera said.

Crisp said a DEC official was on hand one day recently when an alarm sounded from the new system indicating there was an increase in pH in the outflow line to the discharge pipe and the officials saw firsthand that plant workers responded immediately to correct the problem.

"It really comes down to how dedicated O-AT-KA is to the highest level of environmental protection," Crisp said. "That's why we're working with the DEC to assure O-AT-KA is in compliance with the SPDES permit."

There were two spills of milk, Vera said. One in August and another in October. She said steps were taken to prevent future spills and there have been no similar discharges since October.

"The remaining incidents were related to cleaning solution discharges," Vera said. "Action was taken after each incident to determine the source, and O-AT-KA added monitoring equipment and changed practices to mitigate the issue. During DEC's early May inspection, the probable source was identified. A deteriorated flooring in one of production areas allowed cleaning/disinfection solution to seep into a deteriorated pipe beneath floor. O-AT-KA is taking necessary actions to repair piping and floor."

It's still possible O-AT-KA could be fined for the spills, but the DEC has made no determination yet on further enforcement actions, Vera said.

One source we spoke to for this story suggested we look at the notice of violation delivered to O-AT-KA in context of how many DEC violation notices are handed out locally in a year, suggesting that there's nothing remarkable about a company getting a letter of violation.

According to the DEC's database of spills, there have been 76 incidents reported in the past 12 months in Genesee County. Eight of those have been tied to O-AT-KA, which more than any other source in the county. Only three of those spills -- where the size of the spill is known -- involve 100 gallons or more, and two of those involve O-AT-KA. Those are a spill of 125 gallons of milk product in August 2013 and 3,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide in January.

There were 48 incidents countywide reported in the prior 12 months, none involving O-AT-KA.

The series of spills has been a concern to Chapin, CEO Jim Campbell said, and company officials have met several times with O-AT-KA officials to review the measures taken to prevent future problems.

The 110-acre preserve includes nature trails available to employees and the area is teaming with wildlife, Campbell said. Andris Chapin, a family owner and chairman of the board, is keenly aware of environment issues, Campbell said, and once a year takes interested employees on a nature trail walk through the preserve. 

The company also has an environmental manager. He is Mark Volpe, who is also the plant manager and is John Volpe's brother.

Campbell said Chapin is confident O-AT-KA is responding appropriately. It's his understanding, he said, that O-AT-KA has spent more than $100,000 on preventative measures. He said O-AT-KA has recently brought in new executives with a good deal of technical experience in environmental issues.

"They've done a great job and have a great solution in place," Campbell said.

John and Mark Volpe started monitoring and measuring the Chapin's 110-acre habitat in 2008, acquiring and maintaining detailed records on the species and quality of life in the preserve.

It was through that process that John Volpe became increasingly concerned about spills from the O-AT-KA plant, which he said go back further than the August 2013 date covered by the DEC letter.

As he saw more and more environmental damage to the lagoon, he began raising concerns to the DEC, to the point, he believes, that some officials at the DEC started trying to avoid his phone calls.

In his workshop at his home in Attica, Volpe showed dozens of presentation boards displaying charts and tables documenting discharge dates, water temperatures, pH readings and photos of dissected animals and dead fish.

When Volpe found dead fish, he and his helpers photographed where each fish was found, collected them, brought them back to Attica, weighed and identified the species of each fish and photographed each one individually.

The dead fish included sunfish, bullhead and bass.

The DEC was slow to act on contamination issues at the lagoon, contends Volpe.

"Why didn’t the DEC do this and cite them sooner so maybe these fish would still be alive?" Volpe said. "This is not the first fish kill. We’ve had other fish kills."

Volpe's wife caught in a net one bass near death. It was blind, had lost all its slime and was emaciated. The Volpes have nursed it back to health. It's eating again and its eyes have cleared of the haze that covered the pupils. The fish has become more active in its tank.

The blindness and loss of slime is a result of a high pH in the water as well as sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide reaching the lagoon.

Volpe is also concerned about the water temperature in the lagoon, which he said was above 60 degrees in March (he takes the water temperature every day) and the turtles and frogs need the water below at least 50 degrees to hibernate.

There is also evidence of frogs "toxing out," Volpe said. The toxins in the water cause their legs to shoot straight out, become rigid and they can't jump. Eventually, they die.

Volpe was arrested in February and accused of illegal possession of protected turtles and birds of prey. 

The DEC had known for years and years about Volpe's conservation efforts involving wildlife, his friend and supporter Mike Bastine said during a meeting at Volpe's house. It was only after Volpe started making waves about O-AT-KA that the DEC decided to come down hard on Volpe.

"If you look at the implications from the spills that he has documented, that has a much greater impact on the environment than the violations they subjected him to," Bastine said. "Is the issue really about protecting the environment and the animals and the life around us? No, not really.

"They think if they can shut that part of his work down, he's going to go away and say, 'they beat me,' that he'll have to throw in the towel because he can't defend himself. They're hounding us saying we need a permit to hold a feather or care for turtles, but that's our responsibility and that's our custom. It's our job. It's our duty to step in an assist."

In her e-mail response to a series of questions, Vera did not respond to the accusation that Volpe has been targeted for enforcement because of his O-TA-KA complaints.

She said the DEC had been monitoring O-AT-KA independently of Volpe, but found his work helpful. 

"DEC's actions have been ongoing, and are not dependent on Mr. Volpe's findings," Vera said. "However, some of the discharges discovered by Mr. Volpe, have provided assistance in mitigating the discharges and investigating potential sources."

Volpe said he's also concerned because the lagoon sits over the Batavia's aquifer. All of the city's water is pumped from wells in the area. He thinks the contaminants could seep into the aquifer.

City Manager Jason Molino said that really isn't a concern. Even if any contaminants reached the aquifer, the city treats all of its water before it's distributed.

Molino's confident, he said, the DEC has things under control.

"We've spoken with O-AT-KA and the DEC," Molino said. "I think the DEC is aware of the situation and has responded to it and are in constant communication with O-AT-KA. Otherwise, it's outside our jurisdiction."

This photo is from Genesee County's GIS map. The photographs that comprise the map were taken in April 2013. The Chapin Lagoon is in the lower left. O-AT-KA's plant is in the upper right. There is a dirt road that Hanson Aggregates uses running from Ellicott Street. Beside it is a drainage ditch, which apparently is how runoff from O-AT-KA reaches the lagoon. We have no confirmation of what the milky white substance is in the lagoon, but there is no spill around that time period reported in the DEC database.

Sign by drainage pipe that runs under Ellicott Street to a stream that runs to the Chapin Lagoon.

One of the no trespassing signs marking the property line of Chapin's 110-acre wildlife refuge.

January 22, 2014 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, O-AT-KA Milk Products.

It's a crisp, clear morning in Batavia with a temperature of 4 degrees.

Forecasters continue to call for a prolonged period of bitter cold with a mix of snow. Saturday, there's an 80-percent chance of a snow shower with temperatures rising to a balmy 24 degrees.

Photo: The O-AT-KA Milk plant.

February 18, 2013 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, agriculture, O-AT-KA Milk Products.

O-AT-KA Milk Products will soon complete a $16 million expansion of its production facility in Batavia, but the potential of the expansion could be hindered, Sen. Charles Schumer said today, if Canada enacts new trade barriers to milk products.

Schumer appeared at the plant today to publicize the issue and encourage U.S. trade negotiators to make fair trade in milk products a priority.

"The $16 million expansion not just to stay status quo," Schumer said. "Their (O-AT-KA) products are in large demand. The market in Canada and the market in the U.S. are very similar. Our tastes are similar, so this is an opportunity to grow and you don’t want to stop it in its tracks. Many of the new products they’re making are booming. Again, a whole new market of 30 million extra people right nearby would be really important."

O-AT-KA employs 300 people locally and at least 16 jobs are expected to be added with the expansion. The expansion will go forward to meet growing U.S. demand for nutritious milk products, company executives said, but there won't be as many new jobs and as much opportunity if Canada cuts imports of U.S. milk products.

"O-AT-KA has been paving a path of innovation for Upstate New York for years," Schumer said. "They've been taking the milk our farmers produce and turning it into new products that consumers demand. Rolling back trade access now could rip the rug out from under O-AT-KA's grand plans."

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button