Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In the News: Cuomo Moves Toward Lawsuit Over a 50-Year-Old Oil Spill in Greenpoint

New State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo showcased a strong approach to conservation earlier this month when he announced that New York State would sue Exxon Mobil and others for a 50-year old oil spill. The Newtown Creek spill in Greenpoint, larger than the Exxon Valdez in size, resulted from multiple leaks that existed during the 1950's. The Attorney General's move was welcomed by elected officials and community members alike, and hopefully is indicative of future actions of New York State to conserve our marine environment...JB

Image: Newtown Creek, Wikipedia

By Nicholas Confessore
February 9, 2007

New York State moved to sue Exxon Mobil and four other companies on Thursday to force them to clean up a half-century-old spill of millions of gallons of oil lying under the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn and to repair environmental damage inflicted on nearby Newtown Creek.

The spill, originally several times the size of the Exxon Valdez oil leak, resulted from an accident in the 1950s and lay undiscovered until 1978. In notices of intent to sue that were sent to the five companies, Andrew M. Cuomo, the state attorney general, said that so much oil had leaked into the creek that some samples of its sediment, when dried and weighed, were nearly one-tenth oil.

The notices also disclosed that an internal study by one of the companies found nearly 100 different pollutants in the creek water or sediment, including benzene, arsenic and lead.

The other companies receiving the notices were BP, Chevron, KeySpan and Phelps Dodge.

Read more:

Newtown Creek on Wikipedia

Riverkeeper Page on Newtown Creek Spill

Google Map of Newtown Creek,-73.999206&sspn=0.006898,0.009699&ie=UTF8&z=15&ll=40.736527,-73.955369&spn=0.013788,0.033474&t=h&om=1

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In the News: U.S. Gets a 'C-' on Protecting Oceans

The Joint Ocean Commission released its 2006 Report Card last week, giving the United States a "C-" on its efforts to protect and restore our nation's coasts and oceans. The grade, a modest increase from the "D+" given last year by the ten-member task force, clearly indicates that significant improvements are still needed at the policy level. In addition, financial support for research, planning and management programs is sorely lacking (2005- "F"; 2006 - "F") leading many to believe that solutions will need to come from the local level...JB

By Andrew Miga
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The United States made modest progress on protecting its oceans last year, but still needs to boost funding for desperately needed reforms, a commission on ocean policy said Tuesday.

Overall, the U.S. earned a "C-" grade from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a collaboration between the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the privately funded Pew Oceans Commission. That was a slight improvement over a "D+" grade on the commission's report card for 2005.

Read More:

Joint Ocean Commission

U.S Ocean Policy Report Card (PDF)