On top of everything else Hurricane Sandy brought to the New York region this week, what's 336,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into our waters? Guess we'll find out. During the storm's surge on Monday night the oil escaped from the Motiva oil tank facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and poured into the Arthur Kill that separates the Garden State from Staten Island. How exactly it got loose is not entirely clear.
The Office of Response and Restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that the U.S. Coast Guard "requested scientific support from NOAA's Emergency Response Division for three separate oil spills in Arthur Kill," as well as "reports of several orphan containers, and many potential hazmat targets."
But on the plus side, Coast Guard spokesman Les Tippets says a secondary tank caught most of the oil and that the liquid that escaped moved into the Arthur Kill. On top of that, two hundred responders were on scene to contain it for much of the day yesterday.
Still? This is just one of the many reasons why yesterday the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene put out an advisory saying "that direct contact with the Hudson River, East River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay and the Kill Van Kull for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or any other water activity that would entail possible direct contact with the water should be avoided until further notice."