Senator Onorato Applauds Attorney General's New Legal Action To Compel Cleanup Of Newtown Creek

George Onorato

July 19, 2007

State Senator George Onorato (D-Queens) today commended New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for filing an important new federal lawsuit against ExxonMobil to compel the oil company giant to clean up a massive underground oil spill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn as well as the notoriously polluted Newtown Creek that separates Brooklyn from Queens.

"I applaud Attorney General Cuomo's commitment to the environment and to the health and well-being of the residents of Greenpoint and my constituents in Western Queens whose neighborhoods border the shores of Newtown Creek," said Senator Onorato. "Newtown Creek is one of the nation's most polluted waterways, and the massive 17-million-gallon underground oil spill that has contaminated it so severely throughout the years is thought to be the largest in United States history. I'm delighted that the Attorney General is moving to hold ExxonMobil's feet to the fire and to compel it to take real responsibility for the environmental disaster it has been so instrumental in creating."

In February, Attorney General Cuomo sent ExxonMobil and several other companies notices of intent to sue under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) The lawsuit filed by Attorney General Cuomo, which brings charges under a variety of federal and state environmental laws, is the result of those legal actions
and has been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

"ExxonMobil was warned that it faced serious legal action by the State Attorney General, but still failed -- as it has for decades -- to take appropriate steps to clean up the oil spill and restore the terrible damage that has been done to Newtown Creek and properties along its banks,"
said Senator Onorato. "Now, hopefully, this company will be forced to pay the price for its inexcusable negligence."