Bay Terrace Co-op To Blame For Oil Spill

Mary Ellen Kris, regional director for the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said the State plans to take civil and legal action against the cooperative building. "The spill was never called in and this is a violation of the law," she said. "So, the government had to investigate where the problem exactly started."
The DEC first learned of the spill on Mar. 27 when the City Department of Parks and Recreation reported an oil spill along the shoreline of Little Neck Bay near Marinette Rd. and Bayview Ave. The Parks Dept. had learned of the incident from Gloria Bodie, a local resident and member of Udalls Cove Preservation Society.
"We thank the DEC and the cooperating City and federal agencies for finding the polluter, who should be made to pay full compensation for extensive damage," said City Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern. "To discharge black heating oil into the Bay, and then fail to report it, is conduct which to us is criminal."
Tony Avella, candidate for City Council in northeast Queens, is pleased with the actions taken. "They have done a tremendous job in cleaning up and investigating," he said.
According to the DEC, the spill has impacted vegetated saltmarsh, mussel beds, and some wildlife. The shoreline is a wetlands mitigation area at the mouth of Alley Pond Creek and part of the western shore of Little Neck Bay.
Avella added that although immediate results are not visible, the long term effects are a problem. The parks will begin to monitor the wetlands where animals reside, so that any problems can be controlled.
The Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection Joel A. Miele, Sr., said the DEC, Coast Guard and DEPs "sewer sleuths" worked closely to trace the oil to its source. "Were pleased that our joint efforts stopped the contamination before it did more damage to wildlife and the environment," he said.
With most of the oil cleaned up, the organizations will continue to respond as needed until the recovery is complete, and also continue to work at recovering costs to cover the resources.
"It is unfortunate that this happened, but theyre doing a great job in dealing with the matter," Avella said.