UPDATED POST (7:28 p.m.): National Grid contractors are cleaning up 1,100 gallons of gas and oil that gushed into the waters of Paerdegat Basin, which connects to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, after an accident Friday night.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Erik Swanson told Sheepshead Bites that National Grid was cementing an older pipe when there was an unexpected discharge of hazardous materials at approximately 1:30 a.m. The discharge was a mixture of natural gas condensate, compressor oil and turbine oil.
National Grid alerted the Coast Guard, who sent a pollution responder team to the scene, along with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation inspectors.
The company hired Miller Environmental Group, a Long Island-based environmental response contractor, to clean the waters, which involves sucking the water-oil mixture out of the area to prevent anymore sheening or environmental damage, Swanson said.
The contractors will be working throughout today and tomorrow, but the repairs are expected to continue past the weekend.
Coast Guard and local governmental agencies will investigate the cause of the accident. If National Grid is determined to have caused it or acted inappropriately, they will be fined, Swanson said. There will also be continued testing of the waters to ensure the public’s safety.
Authorities are cautioning mariners and fishermen to avoid the area.
Original Post (5:00 p.m.): Authorities are telling fishermen, mariners and water enthusiasts to stay away from the Paerdegat Basin are of Jamaica Bay, following a National Grid oil spill. Here’s the alert:
Alert issued 9/29/12 at 4:45 PM. Oil spill contractors working for National Gird Corporation, under the direction of the US Coast Guard and the NYS DEC, are working to clean up a spill of oil and hazardous materials in Paerdergat Basin, Brooklyn. The public is advised to avoid fishing and recreational activity in this area until further notice. An odor may also be present in the area. There is no danger of an explosion.
We have contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the circumstances of the spill and are awaiting a response.
This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.