Oil giant ExxonMobil will pay $25 million to clean up a decades-old spill in Greenpoint’s Newtown Creek, according to a settlement announced by Governor-elect and Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
Message Posted: Nov 23, 2010 1:27:29 PM
The settlement requires ExxonMobil to conduct a comprehensive cleanup of its oil and other contaminants at their Greenpoint facility. They will also be made to move quickly in developing a plan to clean the waterway separating Queens and Brooklyn.“For far too long, residents of Greenpoint have been forced to live with an environmental nightmare lurking just beneath their homes, their businesses and their community,” said Cuomo on Wednesday November 17.“With this settlement, ExxonMobil will be held accountable for fully cleaning up this environmental disaster. This settlement also repairs the damage to the community and will help make it a cleaner and healthier place to live.”
ExxonMobil’s payment will encompass penalties and costs of improving the environment, including a $19.5 million payout to fund environmental projects. The rest of the settlement will be spread out among the state, New York’s Oil Spill Cleanup Fund and Marine Resources Account and future oversight costs.
The Newtown Creek oil spill, rivaling that of the Exxon Valdez, occurred in 1978 and has been found across 55 acres, seeping into the creek and settling under homes and businesses in the area. That major spill, plus a century of heavy industrial activity, has made the creek arguably the most polluted waterway in the city.
“This was the largest oil spill in New York State history and this settlement mandates a comprehensive cleanup for the first time ever in this long-running saga,” said Peter Iwanowicz, acting commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. “ExxonMobil must not only continue to pump out the oil, but also address the groundwater, soil and air. The settlement also means that ExxonMobil will fund the largest Environmental Benefits Project in state history – bringing tangible improvements directly to the Greenpoint area.”