Good News of a Sort About the Roebling Oil Field & Warehouse 11
The Queens Ledger published a story yesterday that has some good news and bad about the former Roebling Oil Field, which is the site of the new condo called Warehouse 11. The good news is that Department of Environmental Conservation head Pete Grannis sent a letter to Assem. Joe Lentol saying, “Based on our analysis of the information gained from this investigation, it is apparent that the development site where the oil was first discovered is the sole source of the oil." The bad news is that the Warehouse 11 development, in the words of the Ledger, is not:
sitting on top of a field of wildflowers. There was contamination at the site, and some remediation work has already been completed, and a vapor barrier has been installed. However, DEC has not signed off on the work and, according to Grannis, more work needs to be done to address oil that 'migrated from the property beneath the adjacent sidewalk.' DEC plans to continue to test the site in the future.The Assemblyman told the paper, meanwhile:
“There has been much speculation as to the source of the problem, but no one could deny that oil had been spilled at this site. As to the possibility of the oil contamination originating from an off-site source, DEC has determined that the evidence does not support such a theory.DEC's conclusion that all the oil found on the Roebling Oil Field site came from tank removed from the site seems to contradict earlier statements from its own consultants and, even, its own internal emails. Last spring we were told by a source familiar with the cleanup that the on-site oil tank that had been discounted as the sole source of the contamination and that at least some of the "product" had originated from outside the Roebling Oil Field site. In addition, a May 2, 2007 email from a Department of Environmental Conservation official who was responding to an inquiry from an official at the state Department of Health that was forwarded to GL indicated the oil was "from an off site source." It said in part:
During the excavation of the site, oil seepage from off site source was noticed and steps have been taken to recover it. Source investigation is underway, and the seepage has decresed to a minimum which indicates significant portion of the liquid contamination has been recovered.Residents are filing a Freedom of Information Law request with DEC for full test results and consultant reports about the source of the contamination that was discovered during the Warehouse 11 construction.