St. Peter’s to exit environmental laboratory business

ALBANY — St. Peter’s Health Partners is exiting the environmental testing business with the closing of the Bender Laboratory, which the hospital group has operated for decades. A St. Peter’s spokesman said talks are under way to sell the business, which he said was profitable.

The seven full-time employees at Bender can apply for other open positions at St. Peter’s or seek to transition to new owners if a buyer is found. Or they can leave St. Peter’s through what spokesman Bob Webster said was its enhanced severance program.

Bender Laboratory provided a range of water testing services, often required by mortgage bankers before they would approve a loan for homes that depended on wells for their water supply.

The laboratory specializes in household water testing, but also provides testing services to schools, municipalities, small businesses, well-drilling companies and mobile home parks.

Webster said St. Peter’s decided to exit the environmental testing business because “it doesn’t fit what we’re looking to do” as a health care provider. “This didn’t fit that portfolio.”

St. Peter’s operates several Capital Region hospitals, including Samaritan in Troy, St. Peter’s in Albany, Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady, and Samaritan Hospital — Albany Memorial Campus in Albany.

Bender is one of fewer than a half dozen laboratories in the Capital Region accredited by the state Health Department to perform potable water testing. Also listed on the Health Department website are Adirondack Environmental Services in Albany; JH Consulting Group in Loudonville; CNA Environmental in Ballston Spa; and Eden Laboratory in Schenectady County.

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