NYSEG ends standoff with customer over old worn out transformer

HOLLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – Kim and Rich Knox were concerned about an old electrical transformer in their yard, and they were at odds with NYSEG over who was responsible for removing it. The Knox’s contacted Call 4 Action and got the results they were looking for, over the weekend

The big worn out electrical unit was causing a lot of consternation for the Knox’s because it had not been used for at least 10 years, and they were concerned about some of the hazardous material it might contain.

Older transformers like the one mounted on a big wooden utility pole in the Knox’s yard are known to contain PCB’s–a suspected carcinogen.

The pole could come down and hurt somebody, and Kim worried, if the transformer’s casing ruptured, the PCB-laced oil could come splashing out onto the ground, or onto one of her family members.

The transformer won’t likely be used in the foreseeable future because Kim and Rich decided to bury their electrical service line underground, but NYSEG refused to remove the transformer, unless Kim paid $2,500 for the work.

Over the weekend, however, that all changed with a phone call from a NYSEG field manager. The transformer is gone, and Kim credits Call 4 Action’s coverage.

“He saw my story on the news, and he wanted to help me get the transformer taken down. I asked him how he can help, and he said, ‘I can send a crew to have it taken down.’”

Knox accepted the manager’s offer, “I said great, when are you going to do it? He said tomorrow or the next day, and I said okay, fine. They showed up Saturday–they took it down.”

A NYSEG spokesperson summed up the company’s position in a brief email:

“The transformer was removed last Friday morning based on a mutual resolution of NYSEG and our customer. We are pleased that this request has been resolved. NYSEG remains dedicated to customer satisfaction.”

Knox said she is just pleased the transformer is gone, “It is a great deal of relief, so that in the future nothing toxic is leaking into the ground where my kids are playing.”

But the utility poles are staying, and Knox said her family can live that, “The transformer was the big thing, the poles I can work around.”

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