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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE12-51

July 25, 2012

CONTACT:

Chris Gilbride / Ted Timbers (718) 595-6600

DEP Provides Update on Pepacton Reservoir Fuel Removal

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today provided the following update on the removal of fuel from objects buried beneath the Pepacton Reservoir:

  • DEP’s contractor — Moran Environmental Recovery — has completed the removal of approximately 2,600 gallons of diesel fuel and 600 gallons of gasoline from tanks buried beneath the Pepacton Reservoir. Divers used underwater cameras to ensure that all the fuel had been removed from the tanks and then sealed the open standpipes. An inspection of the immediate area revealed no further unexplored standpipes.
  • Moran Environmental Recovery has begun to remove their equipment and expect to be done within a week.
  • As a precautionary measure containment booms will remain in place for the time being. The leaks posed no threat to public health and the Pepacton’s water quality will continue to be regularly monitored.
  • Diversions from Pepacton to Rondout Reservoir resumed on Sunday, July 22nd.

Background

  • In May, during routine surveillance, DEP Police discovered a potential oil spill in the Reservoir and immediately dispatched staff to investigate.
  • During an exploratory underwater inspection divers found a 3-inch diameter pipe protruding through the sediment at the bottom of the reservoir. Although capped, the pipe had several small holes which were allowing diesel fuel to escape.
  • A modified metal drum with a fitted valve and plug was placed over the top of the leaks as a temporary containment system. Divers saw no visual evidence of oil outside the containment system.
  • After removing the approximately 2,600 gallons of diesel fuel from the tank divers located an additional pipe in the same vicinity. After placing the temporary containment system over this pipe, divers tapped into it and discovered that it contained gasoline. After assembling the proper equipment, removal of the gasoline was completed on July 17th.
  • State and Federal regulators are aware of the situation and DEP will continue to keep you informed.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including more than 750 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $49 million payroll and $132 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years that creates up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600