Cymbrowitz Praises Jamaica Bay Oil Spill Response

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz issues a press release this morning, commending the state Department of Environmental Conservation for their fast response to Friday’s oil spill in Jamaica Bay.

Below is the press release:

In the wake of Friday’s oil and gas spill in JamaicaBay, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Conservation, is praising the state agency charged with overseeing the investigation for its quick response and asking to be kept informed as the probe into the spill moves forward.

According to published reports, National Grid was cementing an “older pipe” on the evening of September 28 when 1,100 gallons of natural gas condensate, compressor oil and turbine oil discharged into Jamaica Bay.

Inspectors from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) and Coast Guard responded, and an environmental response contractor hired by National Grid has been working to suck the water-oil mixture out of the area to prevent further environmental damage.

In a letter to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said that “while the discharge of 1,100 gallons is not considered a large spill, it nonetheless poses environmental and ecological dangers that impact the overall health of the bay as well as the lives of the boaters and fishermen who use it daily.”

“I know you share my concern about what caused this incident and know you intend to hold National Grid responsible if it is determined that inappropriate action or error caused the spill,” he said.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said that “keeping hazardous materials out of Jamaica Bay remains a top priority for all of us who want to see this beautiful waterway restored to its former glory.”

The lawmaker noted that a water treatment program implemented by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection is expected to reduce nitrogen discharge into the bay by 3,000 pounds a day by 2014.

“These measures demonstrate the continued broad-based commitment to Jamaica Bay and give us impetus to be extra vigilant in our efforts to protect it,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.

In June 2012, legislation that he supported (A9871A) to prohibit the use of contaminated materials for the purposes of filling borrow pits in Jamaica Bay passed the Assembly by an overwhelming margin. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz was recently lauded by the New York State League of Conservation Voters for his environmental voting record.


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