Two environmental advocate groups recently released an analysis of government information concerning petroleum spills in New York that allegedly came from Exxon Mobil Corp. and its predecessors. The analysis found that there was a significant failure to adequately clean up petroleum spills at a vast array of facilities ranging from pipelines to gas stations.
In particular, the analysis highlighted oil leaks from an old 315-mile pipeline reportedly built from Olean, New York, to Bayonne, New Jersey, by the Standard Oil Company, a corporate predecessor of ExxonMobil. Oil releases were reported in a number of communities in New York and New Jersey. Based on up-to-date information contained in publicly available records, many of these oil releases have never been cleaned up to state standards.
These reports of oil and gasoline spills from facilities owned or operated by ExxonMobil or its corporate predecessor are documented to have polluted rivers, waterways, groundwaters and residential areas. At some locations within these sites, reports have identified petroleum up to approximately 20 feet deep. Some of the pollution levels at these sites reportedly exceed state clean-up standards by more than a thousand-fold.
In addition, the environmental groups released information noting that a large oil spill in Brooklyn that occurred along a creek has not been fully cleaned up despite it being around for many years. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has a website dedicated to the spill, which highlights years of work aimed at remediation.
The analysis also noted that ExxonMobil or its corporate predecessors reportedly have more than 3,500 spills that do not meet state clean-up standards at existing or former gas stations or other locations all over New York. These releases may pose pollution threats to properties, rivers, waterways, wetlands and water supply sources. At least 157 public water supply wells have reportedly been polluted by MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), a toxic chemical reportedly added to gasoline previously sold in New York State by ExxonMobil and other companies.
The analysis focused solely on Exxon and its predecessors and was conducted via regulatory information compiled through the state’s Freedom of Information Law, according to the announcement. If you need more information on this subject, contact William Sutton at 800-898-2034 or by email at William.Sutton@beasleyallen.com.
Sources: Law360 and New York Public Interest Research Group
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