Friday, June 15, 2007

Pumps & Lawsuits, but No Answers at Roebling Oil Field

Roebling Dated

The Roebling Oil Field Building at Roebling and N. 11th Streets in Williamsburg may be one of the only condos in New York City to come with a pump that will have an oil separator. GL has learned that the building, which is on a site on which significant quantities of oil were found during excavation, will include a water pump with a device that removes oil from water. This is because of "free product" that may still be floating on the groundwater table and because part of the foundation of the building will be below the water table. (Traces of benzene have also been found in the groundwater, but at very low levels.) If the city grants permission, the waste water will be dumped into the city sewer system. In theory, water dumped into the sewers will have had pollutants removed, but a similar system being used by Exxon/Mobil to address the massive oil spill along Newtown Creek was found to be releasing pollutants into the creek and is now the subject of litigation.

GL has also been told that the reason no information has been released about results from the many test well drilled around N. 11th and Roebling Streets is that none are available. The wells were drilled to try to determine the source of oil that has flowed into the Roebling Oil Field and its possible spread in the neighborhood. Results, so far, are incomplete. The source of oil has not been determined, although it is strongly believed to be coming from an off-site source to the north or east of the building known as McCarren Park Mews. What experts call "free product" (underground oil pollution to you and me, not a few gratis drops of the stuff that is going for $3.50 a gallon) is still believed to be in the area. Litigation is brewing about "free product" that was not previously cleaned up under Department of Environmental Conservation supervision at an adjoining development.

In the meantime, contaminated soil was removed during excavation and protective barriers were put in place in the McCarren Park Mews development in accordance with currently accepted remediation standards The practice of removing soil and then sealing the foundation of a building is increasingly being questioned in terms of its longterm safety, but it is the most common cleanup procedure nationwide.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it is those same racist white kids who are trying to preserve some of the historic buildings in Williamsburg.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's Geraldo? Where's New York Magazine? Where's Marcia Kramer? Where's PBS? Oh, I forgot that this is a Williamsburg environmental crisis. The media doesn't report anything that would blemish Williamsburg's reputation, but they sure are willing to write horrible things about Greenpoint, even if they have to make them up.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Pretzel Logic said...

New York Mag just did a pretty extensive article on this subject a week ago. Are they not "the media?"

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am afraid Pretzel Logic that your article was about Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. The wapping Oil Spill that is currently mentioned everywhere? The Williamsburg uncovering of oil has nothing to do with that. The avialability of public information is poor and the turning of a blind eye to the problems of building over toxic sludge is an outrage. Noone is going to build a condo complex over Newtown Creek but they will certainly build it over other parts of what is toxic Brooklyn without a care in the world. Watch you find out you live over an oil well. You would certainly want to know why you were never told and you certainly would want that someone to pay for it. The media do nothing the Gov do nothing. Who cares right?

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good show today on Brian Lehrer. i especially liked your "democratization of the news process" comment. hamill and others are professionals and i respect them as such. but the "editor and paycheck" comment relates only to professionals who do not monopolize the observation and reporting of developments in our neighborhoods. liked also what you said about the relationship b/w mainstream media and blogs NOT being an either/or. each has a role... like phones v. email. bravo blogs. and no one pays much attention to the 6th boro, my area of interest.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you knuckleheads amuse me. brooklyn's waterfront neighborhoods were heavy industry for 150+ years - back when my great grandfather was born here - before you people found them fashionable. where do you think everything went for those 150+ years? IN THE GROUND! get used to it.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, most buildings have oil seperators for at least some of their sump pumps. NYC requires them on pumps at the bottom of elevator shafts to prevent hydraulic fluid from being pumped out. Really a fairly common occurance.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm curious about "litigation at a nearby development."

how nearby? a block away? two blocks away? three? there are tons of developments within a stone's throw of the "Roebling oil field."

also, what level of "litigation?" is there talk of litigation? or is actual litigation underway? by whom against who? etc.

there is no way that reference can be interpreted as news since there are no facts or actual details about it. for all we know it could be hearsay, or even conjecture.

you should promote facts rather than fears.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The multiple toxic oil spills beneath williamsburg are not the only very toxic materials in the ground---there is lots of lead, and extensive contaminants from waste treatment and drycleaning plants that were in the neighborhod before the develpers and the City decided to spin Williamsburg as trency digs for yuppies amd authorized permits to build thousands of new units to help the City cash in on real estate taxes while the RE market was hot...Once the buyers get sick, --- neighborhood has 4x the nat avg in asthma and of the 5 boroughs the highest level of 2 kinds of childhood leukemia----by the time the yuppies figure out they were had, the city officals, the developers etc will be long gone....

Williamsburg and Greenpoint, a combined area considered by the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Environmental Protection to be one of the most environmentally burdened 4.8 square miles in the nation. I

3:16 PM  

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