The Northeast section of Greenpoint, in Brooklyn, New York, is a heavily industrialized area and the former site of numerous refinery and chemical operations dating back to the mid 1800’s. Refinery operations ended in 1965, when the Mobil Oil Refinery (formerly Standard Oil of New York) was dismantled. The site continued operations as a terminal until 1993.
In September 1978 the U.S. Coast Guard on a routine patrol discovered a light sheen on the surface of Newtown Creek, used for nearly 200 years as an industrial waterway and urban discharge area. A subsequent investigation revealed petroleum products on top of groundwater generally 30-40 feet beneath the earth’s surface of a section of Greenpoint. Corrective steps were taken to stop the seepage into the waterway. Since then, ExxonMobil, BP Amoco and Chevron Texaco together have removed more than 10 million gallons of product.
Unlike oil spills produced by a single event, this petroleum contamination accumulated over more than 100 years as a result of multiple releases by multiple contributors. ExxonMobil takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and monitors water and free product levels on a monthly basis to prevent potential seepage into Newtown Creek.