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Defunct pipeline still causing contamination, activist alleges


Contamination from a defunct Standard Oil pipeline hasn't been properly cleaned up in New York, according to documents compiled by an anti-fracking activist.

The pipeline, which ran from Olean, New York, to Bayonne, New Jersey, was part of John D. Rockefeller's oil empire. Built in the 1800s, it carried crude oil until 1925. But some oil appears to remain in the line's aging pipes, risking contamination of groundwater, soil and wetlands, an Ithaca fracking opponent says.

“People are living along this 300 mile pipeline and they have no idea that very likely it has leaked, corroded and caused underground pollution they were never told about," said Walter Hang, who runs Toxics Targeting.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has held Exxon-Mobil responsible for contamination for historic Standard Oil operations in Olean, Greenpoint and Queens, department spokeswoman Erica Ringewald said.

"DEC will continue to hold Exxon Mobil responsible to clean up any contamination in New York State resulting from the Olean, NY, to Bayonne, NJ, pipeline built by Standard Oil in 1881,” Ringewald said in a statement.

Oil contamination investigations conducted by Columbia Gas, as the company prepared to install the Millennium Pipeline, cite the existence of the old, 1920s pipeline. Oil from the pipeline was found near Barton and Candor in Tioga County, according to reports provided to the DEC and obtained by Hang, using a public records request.

Excavation activities in 2008 near State Route 96 uncovered three defunct pipelines, a 2012 report by a consultant for Columbia states.

See the rest of this article on the Politico New York website