It's due to National Grid's Tidewater Landing Initiative in Pawtucket to the Seekonk River oil spill that is linked to National Grid's Tidewater Landing project in Pawtucket
A large amount of dense, coal tar oil poured into the Seekonk River on Wednesday afternoon, polluting soil and transporting emergency personnel to the region.
Officials said a portion of oil came from the Tidewater Landing project, breaching the booms that were set up in the water by National Grid, the property owner of the $400 million site, which is being transformed into.
It's unclear how much oil poured into the water, but dead fish have washed up onshore and the river's surface was slick with rainbow-tinted sheen. Crews of workers were seen in wetsuits in the water throughout the afternoon Thursday, and local residents reported on social media a strong smell of oil or diesel.
Yesterday, there was an oil spill on the Seekonk River in Pawtucket that was thought to be linked to the establishment of the new Soccer Stadium. Dead fish, oil slicks, and the smell of petroleum are strong near the river's edge. Remediation crews were out.
The first spill of this month happened on Nov. 12 when there was foul weather, which breached the boom intended to keep the oil at bay. National Grid, which is the responsible party, was not found at fault, but DEM warned the business it would have stronger booms. Healey, head public affairs officer at the state Department of Environmental Management, said the Globe over the phone Thursday night that the first spill took place on Nov. 12.
Before this month, the last oil spill from that region occurred in October 2009.
Healey then said that workers "disturbed" the soil that had been beneath a temporary hard cap shortly before noon on Wednesday.
However, Pawtucket, like nearly every other Rhode Island community, has an industrial legacy. It's taken a long time to improve, he said. We know this soil is contaminated, he added. It's a recovering urban river. Vegetation is starting to come back. But Pawtucket, like nearly every other town in Rhode Island, has an industrial legacy. It's taken a long time to improve.
John Lamontagne, a company spokesman, stated that the US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency's oil spill hotline at the National Response Center were contacted by National Grid.
Healey stated, "National Grid did exactly what they were supposed to," and said that the firm would not be fined.
National Grid began working on the Tidewater site in Pawtucket earlier this year, according to Healey, since the Tidewater Landing site was the site of coal conversion into electric plants around the mid-1900s. Healey said the site was the site of a plant where coal was converted into gas to power stations at the time and would sink into the soil, contaminating it, due to the lack of environmental standards. And site remediation has been required to remove polluted or contaminated soil, sediment
I wish we could tell you how many gallons were discharged, but we dont know, Healey explained, saying, any amount may be harmful.
The coal tar oil is a liquid that appears to be a rainbow-colored sheen on the surface of the water, he added, despite crude oil that sinks and a gasoline spill, which may disperse rapidly and become a dangerous, potentially flammable situation.
The state will send a marine biologist to conduct tests to determine if the dead fish seen onshore were due to the spill.
National Grid intends on installing more hard and soft booms in order to minimize any future damage, according to Healey.
It's my expectation that National Grid acts swiftly and decisively to control and clean up this spill to preserve the health of individuals, animals, and the river itself. It's my expectation that National Grid does everything in its power to prevent another unacceptable accident like this, Senator Meghan Kallman, a Democrat representing Pawtucket and North Providence, stated in a statement.
Emily Rizzo, a spokeswoman in Mayor Donald R. Grebien's office, confirmed that the city is still in contact with National Grid during the cleaning phase.
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