Greenpoint handles settlement


Newtown creek

Over the last century, between 17-30 million gallons of oil was spilled/leaked from ExxonMobil into the soil and ground water in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This has been leaching into Newtown Creek for decades. This was not discovered until 1978 when a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter patrolled over the water and noticed a large “plume” of oil flowing out of the banks of the creek. This was not brought to court until 1990.

Present day, Greenpoint reached a settlement agreement with ExxonMobil for 19.5 million dollars. This is creating a series of grants available for the residents in this area. There are small projects for 5,000 dollars (tree planting) or 2 million for bigger projects (school programs).

Fines from this oil spill in Brooklyn are now funding a new city schools program to teach kids about conserving the environment. The Greenpoint Eco schools program (developed by the National Wildlife Federation) will help students at four Brooklyn schools.

The settlement is providing 1.75 million dollars for this program. Sustainability coaches at each school will work on environmental projects such as planting trees and examining local water quality. This will help the students  develop vital science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Officials state that they expect “1,800 students to benefit from this program.” Another goal of the program is to reduce waste by 25% a year, energy use by 10% and water use by 5% at each school. The oil spill in Newtown Creek was tragic for all in the area, but with this settlement the town can reverse the negative environmental impact and prevent it from happening again in the future.

Original Article:

Picture (Newtown Creek):



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