There Have Been Nine Oil Leaks In Newtown Creek This Year

Image: Newtown Creek Alliance

Before we get into it: Another congratulations to Greenpointers for making it to Week 4 of the G train shutdown. Hang in there! But make sure that while you’re coping, you continue to stay far, far away from the Newtown Creek because apparently, it’s been more toxic than usual this year.

Via DNAinfo: The state is currently investigating businesses located along the Newtown Creek following a sharp increase in reports of “unknown petroleum.” Last year, there were just two reports. This year, that number’s up to nine.

The majority (seven in all) of the new incidents occurred between April and June, with another two occuring this month. Seeing as that is highly suspicious, the Department of Environmental Conservation is now involved.

For those of you out of the know, the last thing the Newtown Creek needs is more pollution. It was designated a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency, following years of oil spills, including the 17 to 30 million gallons spilled by Exxon/Mobil before 1978. Today, there are still petroleum refineries along the waterway, but they’re under much stricter regulations than their predecessors and spills have been kept to a distinct minimum as a result. Still, one troublemaking refinery has already been discovered (they face fines of up to $25,000/day of the violation) and more businesses could see fines in the coming weeks.

Locals are being encouraged to contact the Newtown Creek Alliance if they see anymore especially bright, rainbow-like oil sheens as they’re the first clue that new petroleum has been spilled in the body of water. In the meantime, check out this Google map pinpointing the sites of all spills in 2014. It ain’t pretty.

Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk



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