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The Long Island oil spill nobody told you about

The Long Island Oil Spill Nobody Told You About

PIX11 reports that crews are working in the Long Island Sound to clamp a leak on a power line that was cut back on January 6th and started leaking hundreds of gallons of oil.

The emergency containment has gone largely unnoticed for nearly a month despite a large staging area in Tappen Beach. As PIX11′s chopper flew overhead Tuesday, boats were at then scene where divers have been working around the clock in bitterly cold waters even when air temperatures have been well below freezing.

An incident report shows as much as 400 gallons of a dielectric fluid has been released. The liquid is used alongside electrical lines to prevent sparks. The cable itself belongs to the New York Power Authority which says the leak is non-toxic but neither government entity the EPA nor the US Coast Guard would confirm that assessment to PIX11 News. According to one report, the total amount at risk in the spill is 8,000 gallons.

NYPA tells PIX11 it believes a vessel belonging to Bouchard Transportation dropped its anchor in the wrong place, damaging the line. NYPA is suing Bouchard Transportation in Federal Court in part to recoup the costs of repairing the line.

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QuietPlaceToBeMe February 06 2014 at 5:21 AM

There is always going to be human error in life what we can do from this point on is to look for better ways in order to protect the lines so it is not hazzardous to the waters which already have taken much of a beating over the years . We have a responsibilty to take care of mother earth before there is not going to be any clean water for any of us and it will be to late to turn back the clock so i say become more aware of what we are doing here and that is all of us .. after all its all of our home .. Mary Veronica

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gjeepn1557 February 06 2014 at 5:09 AM

No excuse. will not effect wildlife? who do they think they are? Jerks. Over a month and never was reported? Disgusting.

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CAB IV February 06 2014 at 8:51 AM

Its probably not as bad as people tend to think it is. These Dielectric oils don't biodegrade, but they also don't go anywhere either. They don't dissolve in water well, so it can all be scooped up out of the water instead of going right into solution.

The large size of the molecules means they don't have a lot of bio-accumulation capability, meaning fish won't absorb it quickly. Considering its winter, I'm assuming most wild life aren't as active as they normally are so I'm betting they'll be fine.

Finally, because of these properties, you need a lot of it to severely contaminate a waterway. There is a lot coming out of that power line, but there is also a lot of water in the Long Island sound.

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horsedrag February 07 2014 at 5:25 PM

Actually those fluids are toxic at Parts Per Trillion. EPA"NO AMOUNT IS SAFE"

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chuckhalper February 06 2014 at 12:30 PM

It was reported on January 22, the writer was Mary Malloy,and was in the newspapers. BTW, synthetic dialectic fluid was what was reported in the 22nd article. You have probably ingested stage 3 mineral oils in a laxative, used them in a baby lotion or cosmetic, eaten some in foods, maybe even used some as a body lubricant. This is just AOL/HP trying to sensationalize an event, FALSELY claiming it was covered up. Try a little reseach before you rant about a cover up.

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horsedrag February 07 2014 at 5:28 PM

Likely PCB fluid, I'll pass on the laxative. Utility companies are anything but truthful.

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michaelaiellosr February 06 2014 at 5:08 AM

"what is happening to our entire society" ???? A little over reaction perhaps? Sheesh, you would think it is the end of the world. People who don't have a clue would tend to react that way.

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MUSTANG February 06 2014 at 10:12 AM

You're kidding right? I kayak there often and bring my family to use Tappen & Sea Cliff Beach. It's not an over reaction to expect the community to be told a. Non organic chemical has been leaking for a month into water thats used for recreational purposes. A lot folks fish there as well. The only reason the public knows about environmental issues is because we ask questions & demand to know the answers about stuff that effects US!!! Why not tell the public? Are they trying to hide something? Nothing causes more suspicion & alarm then not announcing it.

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LScott969 February 06 2014 at 4:31 AM

There is absolutely no excuse for this. How could this possibly have gone on and no one did a thing about it? What is happening to our entire society? I am disgusted once again by those in power. It is absolutely inexcusable. What breaks my heart is the animals and sea life that is so helpless. It takes some leaders to get it together for once and do something right for a change.
What is it going to take to get our leaders and those that make these empty promises to us to get our vote, to really do the right thing for once and do what they promised they would do.
It would be a good start if they really cared. They don't. It's that paycheck they want and each year they seem to become more shallow and pitiful.

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CAB IV February 06 2014 at 8:55 AM

But they were doing something about it... the only reason anyone noticed was because local people started asking why all those trucks were parked some place. They were already working on it by the time anyone noticed anything happened. Its right there in the story!

It seems like people are more upset that this didn't become a crisis as soon as it happened.

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dale February 06 2014 at 3:48 AM

It went unnoticed. i wonder why? Guess the news an society, has been to busy watching their favorite pet in the white house.

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verrille February 06 2014 at 3:43 AM

Nice to know there is an oil spill in my town and nobody said a word to the residents. Good job brand new mayor!

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Glen February 06 2014 at 3:03 AM

I have always heard that di-electric oil that fills those round cylinders we see mounted on telephone poles, commonally known as transformers as well as those large green boxes on the ground by many a buisiness both contain di-electric oil. I have not seen anything currrent on the subject but the last article clearly stated that "In the state of California", di-electric oil is a known carcinogen. If it causes cancer in California is it safe to say it also causes cancer in such places as Texas, Mississippi or New York?

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CAB IV February 06 2014 at 9:01 AM


California's criteria for what is a carcinogen is also very loose. They take the approach of if it might be dangerous it is. If a lab rat gets a tumor, it becomes a "known carcinogen". Meanwhile, orange juice is highly carcinogenic.... in rats.

I'm not saying this stuff doesn't have dangers, but I can find a lot of products in my home that say "known to the state of California to contain carcinogens/cause birth defects".

A lot of these di-electric oils are not especially dangerous. The only time you want to worry about it is when you're looking at older equipment. Not all PCB transformers are phased out. Its been the backlash against chemicals like PCBs since the 1970s that has driven the industry to find "safer" dielectric fluids, not just for the environment but for the sake of the people working with them.

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lulu0510 February 06 2014 at 2:13 AM

The oil in the cable is used as a coolant. It is non toxic and similar to the oil people take as a laxitive. The cable was installed to bring power from upstate New York to Long Island because the father of the present governor, Mario Coumo cancelled the building of a power plant on the Island. As a result the residents of Long Island have been plagued with power outages , extremely high electricl rates and terrible service. The Power Authority is owned bythe state of NY so the spill was immediately known to all officials required.

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samsuitt February 06 2014 at 2:48 AM

And why was the public not informed? Have they no right to know when something like this happens (it IS a public utility, after all!)? It might add to, or if needed, damage the credibility of the very controling information sources apparently limiting public information access. If the facts had been revealed, and a few outside, impartial experts allowed to verify them and assess the damage, many of us would feel a lot more confident that what we are hearing is true. The secrecy here strongly suggests that the truth, so tightly controlled, kept secret, and released by those with a strong motivation to minimize the seriousness, would paint a very different picture.

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leonard c madsen February 06 2014 at 3:17 AM

Really. Tell the truth, did not knowing harm you in any way? Is your life better and do you feel good knowing of the spill now?

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hugozoon February 06 2014 at 3:33 AM

You think long island has high electric rates now that is a joke come to nyc we pay 3x wat is paid in nyc.

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JepWolf February 06 2014 at 1:53 AM

off shore drill and boats cost too much money that we dont have let dry drill all the way here in usa.

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JepWolf February 06 2014 at 1:52 AM

let's go back to the dry drilling.

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