Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Few People Show for the Exxon-Mobil Greenpoint Oil Spill Briefing

Only a handful of people turned up for the three meetings held yesterday at the Newtown Creek Sewage Treatment Plant on the big, underground Exxon-Mobil spill in Greenpoint. That could be because the Department of Environmental Conservation did little to publicize the events or because they were held at the off-putting sewage treatment facility, which is both imposing, malodorous and a bit off the beaten path. The underground spill is estimated at 17-30 million gallons and only about 20-30 percent of it has been cleaned up. Its exact boundaries are unknown as the oil move around on the water table underground.

Our Greenpoint correspondent attended, however, and filed a full report on the briefing. She noted that attendees were required to sign in at three separate locations just to gain access to the meeting room. The DEC said that air sampling in neighborhood homes had found no evidence of vapor from the spill. In fact, chemical vapors were only found in two homes. The presence of the Tetrachloroethylene was due to improper disposal of dry cleaning
chemicals, likely from a dry cleaner close to the homes in question.

The DEC did not test every home in the residential areas above the spill. Some residents did not allow DEC into their homes and some landlords could not be reached. The department does not intend to do any follow up monitoring in homes, but will continue to do air sampling. Air samples are said to be "in line" with the rest of the city. The department said that it will do more testing of industrial properties in areas above the underground spill. Officials are reported to have been evasive about any efforts to map the spill beyond its reported boundaries and about investigating pools of underground oil that may exist outside the recognized spill area.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you think people who had their homes sampled deserve a bit of privacy to discuss what was found in their homes?

5:22 PM  

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