Dept. of Environmental Conservation Stonewalling on Roebling Oil Field Results?
Is the Department of Environmental Conservation stonewalling and not turning over reports about all the test wells it drilled adjacent to the Roebling Oil Field (as recently as this fall) where luxe condos are now on sale? That is what a neighborhood activist who's been working through a State Assembly Member and a City Council Member is alleging. "We've been trying to get answers on what's down there for a year and haven't been able to get a document since last May," he told GL. The most recent document that was obtained indicated that there was a "localized plume" of oil at N. 11th Street and Roebling rather than a bigger flow of oil that was coming from somewhere else. Yet, key documents that would indicate what has been found in more than a dozen test wells on N. 11th Street and on Roebling Street have not been released, although Assem. Joe Lentol's office indicates that it's believed the contamination is localized and not part of bigger problem. No one appears to know, however, if the source has been definitively identified or how much oil remains underground.
The most recent DEC documents that were obtained by GL were from last May and June, before a new series of wells were drilled by consultants on behalf of the state. Residents, who are concerned that residents around N. 11 & Roebling are still at risk and that there could be a broader threat in the neighborhood, are filing requests under the state's Freedom of Information Law for the documents that would either indicate that no more oil is present or whether it continues to flow underground. Documents last spring suggested the state had been unable to identify the source of the underground contamination. A technician working on the wells had previously told a neighbor that the spill was on the large side.
In the meantime, the development that led to the discovery of the oil, which is now called Warehouse 11, is on the market and is having an kickoff party on January 31. The contamination may be coming from a site across N. 11 Street from Warehouse 11.