Senator Espaillat Calls for Thorough Inquiry of North River Sewage Plant Explosion and Measures to Prevent Future Accidents

Today, Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) expressed his deep concern about the North River Sewage Plant explosion, which has had a wide-ranging impact on the Northern Manhattan community. Since the explosion, which took place on Tuesday, July 19th, over 120 million gallons of raw sewage has been dumped into the Hudson River. The accident, and ensuing dumping of sewage into the river, has caused pollution, odor, inconvenience, and a serious health risk for local residents.

“I am deeply alarmed and concerned about this serious accident and the fact that millions of gallons of raw sewage has been dumped into the Hudson,” said Senator Adriano Espaillat. “I am calling for a swift and through inquiry into what caused the initial explosion and why the plant and the Dept. of Environmental Protection were not better prepared for such an accident.”

After the explosion at the plant a fire raged on for nearly four hours. sewage was diverted into the river. Riverbank State Park, which sits on top of the plant, remains closed, causing a major inconvenience for New Yorkers who rely on the park, particularly during the summer months.

L. Ann Rocker, a local environmental activist and president of the Friends of Riverbank State Park group said: “This is a devastating accident and we are all very concerned. We hope the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) will keep in mind that this affects our seniors, children, and families. We were told the plant would not have an adverse impact on our community. Now, we want to know why this terrible accident took place and what steps will be taken to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”