LONG ISLAND (PIX11) – Crews are working in the Long Island Sound to permanently repair a power line that was cut back on Jan. 6 and started leaking hundreds of gallons of oil.
The emergency containment had gone largely unnoticed for nearly a month despite a large staging area in Tappen Beach. As PIX11’s chopper flew overhead Tuesday, boats were at then scene where divers have been working around the clock in bitterly cold waters even when air temperatures have been well below freezing. An incident report shows as much as 400 gallons of a dielectric fluid has been released.The liquid is used alongside electrical lines to prevent sparks. The cable itself belongs to the New York Power Authority which says the leak is non-toxic but neither government entity the EPA nor the US Coast Guard would confirm that assessment to PIX11 News.
In an official statement NYPA states “The leak has been virtually halted following remedial measures by NYPA and there is no indication that the fluid reached the shoreline or impacted wildlife.” According to one report, the total amount at risk in the spill is 8,000 gallons.
NYPA tells PIX11 divers were able to clamp the line which reduced the oil leakage to no more than a few gallons a day. It believes a vessel belonging to Bouchard Transportation dropped its anchor in the wrong place, damaging the line. NYPA is suing Bouchard Transportation in Federal Court in part to recoup the costs of repairing the line.