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Newtown Creek Report to Outline Plans to Control Oil Seepage

By DNAinfo Staff on January 27, 2012 6:19pm

Newtown Creek forms part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens.
Newtown Creek forms part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens.
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Newtown Creek Alliance

QUEENS — A report expected next month will outline a plan to control oil seepage from a former refinery into Newtown Creek, the waterway separating Long Island City and Greenpoint, officials said.

The report from Exxon Mobil, the successor company of one of the refinery's previous operators, could include information regarding whether oil seeped into the creek when steel piles were driven into the ground to help support the shoreline, said Lisa King, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

King said it is unclear who drove the piles into the ground — a process known as "bulkheading" — or when the seepage occurred. She said there is no indication the seepage dates to 1949, when the site was last used as a refinery.

The state launched its investigation in spring 2011, King said. Exxon Mobil's report is expected to cover how to control the seepage as part of the eventual cleanup, she said.

"We continue to work with Exxon Mobil to address the petroleum contamination there," King said.

The site was a refinery from 1892 until 1949, operated at different points by the North American Kerosene Company, Queens County Oil Works, Pratt Long Island Refinery, Carey Energy Company and Peerless Oil Company, King said. Standard Oil also used the site to manufacture wax, grease and lubricating oils, she said.