Is one of Brooklyn's more fascinating environmental horrors, the massive oil spill under Greenpoint, migrating toward Hunters Point in Long Island City? Could be, but no one has bothered to check.
The chief investigator for the environmental group Riverkeeper says the extent of the spread of the 17 million gallon Newtown Creek spill (the Exxon Valdez only spilled 10.8 million gallons) has never been fully documented even though it was discovered in 1978. Yesterday, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi chimed in, calling for studies to assess the current whereabouts of the spill. (The spill dates to an era when more than 23,000 gallons of oil were being processed at refineries along the banks of Newtown Creek, whose water is so nasty it makes the Gowanus Canal look like an Upstate reservoir.)
Riverkeeper filed suit against ExxonMobil in 2004 seeking a faster cleanup. Nearly 9 million gallons have been cleaned up to date; another 20 years may be needed to finish the job. Meanwhile, the spill is on the move. "It has gotten into the groundwater in Greenpoint and has gone under the creek," Riverkeeper's Basil Seggos told the Queens Chronicle.
"Under the creek" means in the general direction of Queens West, where construction is now underway on the second Avalon Riverview North tower (now that a soil cleanup on the site is finished). The oil also continues to flow into Newtown Creek, which often sports a nice, glistening rainbow sheen.
· Environmentalists Urge Action on Toxic Creek [Queens Chronicle]
· A Spill Bubbles Up [Village Voice]
· Bored of Bowery, Avalon Continues Spread in LIC [Curbed]