Retired architect indicted, accused of tossing toxic chemicals

A retired architect from Croton-on-Hudson has been indicted on an environmental charge because he threw out toxic chemicals that badly injured a village sanitation worker, authorities say.

Paul Ingvoldstad, 68, (left) was arraigned in Westchester County Court today on a felony charge of second-degree endangering the public health, safety or the environment. He remains free on $2,500 bail.

According to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, Ingvoldstad called the public works department in early July to pick up some items, and put out drafting printers with six, one-gallon containers of ammonium hydroxide in front of his home on Old Post Road South.

The village’s public works department took the printers but left the containers of ammonium hydroxide on the curb, which were added to some household trash several days later, on July 7.

When a sanitation worker picked up the trash and threw it in the garbage truck, the ammonium hydroxide containers burst, releasing the ammonia fumes.

Three public works employees were exposed, and one, a 46-year-old man, was knocked unconsciousness for more than an hour, prosecutors said. He also suffered burning, vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, and extreme sensitivity to light from the fumes. The worker has since recovered.

Police have said the box containing the gallon chemical jugs was not marked as containing hazardous materials.

Ingvolstad was arrested in September 2010 on the environmental charge, as well as second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree assault, both misdemeanors. He rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors in December and was indicted last week.

He is due back in court on Aug. 4 and faces up to seven years in state prison if convicted.