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Greenpoint Oil Spill Revisited: Bigger Than Tribeca, Less Upscale

It's fun getting back to the toxic horror known as the Greenpoint Oil Spill, and if you want a, overview and update, check out New York Magazine's tome on the thing. The thumbnail is that the spill was "discovered" in 1978 and totals somewhere between 17 million and 30 million gallons, given or take. No one is entirely sure where it's spread, but like all good New Yorkers it is believed to always be seeking out new real estate. Here's some background color:

It starts where Meeker Avenue hits Newtown Creek, seeping out into the waterway. From there it extends south and steadily deeper under the Brooklyn soil, reaching a depth of about 40 feet. It’s contained from below by the groundwater in the Brooklyn-Queens aquifer: The oil is repelled by the water, so the muck “floats” on top. Like the Blob in the eponymous Steve McQueen movie, it keeps changing shape and moving—bulging south beyond the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, slithering north toward Greenpoint Avenue, ballooning west to at least Monitor Street. This black lagoon fills the nooks and crannies in the gravel, sand, and silt that characterize the soil of the area, pooling in pockets that range from just centimeters thick to natural vats that are 25 feet deep. The contaminated zone encompasses at least 55 acres of northern Brooklyn—an area roughly the size of Tribeca.Much fun detail within, including the fact that there is so much oil in the dirt near Newtown Creek you could literally set it on fire if you wanted.
· The Ooze [NYM]
· State Finally Agrees Greenpoint Oil Sucks, Sues Exxon [Curbed]
· Throwing it in the Creek: Greenpoint Oil Spill Cleanup Progressing [Curbed]