Last week, we gave you Blacksmith Institute’s list of the world’s 10 most polluted places. Now here is info on one of the most polluted waterways in the States. It’s in (drumroll, please) Brooklyn, NY: Newtown Creek, a tributary of the Hudson
From Mother Jones:
basil seggos leans against the rail of the 36-foot harbor patrol boat as it chugs along Newtown Creek into an industrial wasteland of sewer pipes and flotsam, past a huge conveyor belt carrying skeletal cars to the scrap heap and a natural gas facility belching plumes of orange flame.
The discharge floating on this inland waterway, which divides the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, is just a hint at what lies beneathâ€”anywhere between 17 million and 30 million gallons’ worth, a spill more than 50 percent larger than the Exxon Valdez. But unlike the Exxon Valdez, this one has been allowed to grow and fester for half a century, directly below a residential area. Even in the neighborhoodâ€”an old-time blue-collar community pocked with hipster enclavesâ€”many people don’t know why the air smells like gasoline on rainy days.
“This is a working-class community with a dirty creek in a part of Brooklyn no one really cares about,” Seggos says. “It would have perhaps been a better thing if these were river otters covered with oil. You’d have had immediate action.”
A giant oil spill that’s been languishing underground in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Greenpoint neighborhood since at least the 1950s might not be as big as first thought — it’s likely even bigger!
The EPA says the state should conduct tests to determine whether vapors from the slick could be entering homes and businesses in the area.
The EPA Report: Newtown Creek/Greenpoint Oil Spill Study [pdf] Date: September 12, 2007