Heating Oil Spills into Bronx River


Dead fish and waterfowl were found covered in oil in New York, but it’s not from the BP mess in the Gulf of Mexico. Hundreds of gallons of heating oil spilled into the Bronx River early Wednesday morning along a stretch of the river between White Plains and Scarsdale.

A family of wild geese, their feathers fouled by No. 6 home heating oil – the tiniest of the bunch covered from beak to tail – was caught in the toxic mess swirling in the waters of the Bronx River. Cyclist John Gagne, of Hartsdale, noticed it as soon as he hit the river bike path.

It was the awful petro-smell that prompted a Scarsdale jogger to report the spill in the morning.

“This is a clear example, not only, if you see something say something, if you SMELL something say something,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

A half-dozen agencies went to work containing the oil with special “booms.”

Crews determined the mess was spilling into the river from the sewer system. Public works and police officials literally followed the flow of heating oil through the sewer pipes right to the Lexington Hills apartment building.

A worker at the complex told cops that hundreds of gallons of oil spilled in the basement during boiler repair work. That’s a hazmat situation, but it wasn’t reported to proper authorities.

Investigators anticipate charging the responsible party and sending them a bill for the cleanup.

Experts say more than 40 aquatic species could be threatened by the spill.

Animal rescue crews were working to clean off the geese covered in the oil.

(Source: WCBSTV)