Report Finds Thousands Of Petroleum Spill Sites Left Unchecked

The New York Public Interest Research Group and Toxics Targeting have released details regarding oil contamination by Exxon Mobil across the state, including a spill reported in the Port of Albany. Nick Reisman reports.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A report released on Thursday by the New York Public Interest Research Group and the research firm Toxics Targeting found thousands of petroleum spills from oil storage facilities, pipelines and gasoline stations have not been adequately cleaned up.

The report delved into sites linked to Exxon Mobil, either through facilities the energy giant owns or has acquired through legacy ownership.

But NYPIRG’s Blair Horner insisted the company itself wasn’t being singled out and the real concern was having state lawmakers look into the remediation efforts at the state.

“This certainly underscores the need for public hearings to look into this. We’ve only identified in a sense the tip of the iceberg,” Horner said. “Hopefully it’s a big tip, but we don’t know for sure. Lawmakers should take a look at this program and see what’s going on.”

“The story is bigger than Exxon Mobil,” he added.

The study was conducted by Toxics Targeting, a for-profit environmental research firm.

“We’re not making any assertions. We’re not consultants. We’re simply making this information available,” said Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting.

Hang pointed to one alleged leak along the Olean-Bayonne Crude Oil Pipeline that stretches for 315 miles.

“When we began to compile the data for these oil and gasoline spills, I don’t think we saw any one that was on that level,” he said.

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