Statement by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Regarding Greenpoint Oil Spill Lawsuit
“After more than 30 years, ExxonMobil continues to shirk its responsibilities for the clean-up of the largest known oil spill in U.S. history. It must be held accountable for its actions and for its disregard of the health and well-being of the residents of the Greenpoint area. Today with this lawsuit, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis took a major step toward making sure that ExxonMobil pays for identifying the magnitude of this contamination and cleaning up the area in and around Newtown Creek.”
About the Greenpoint Oil Spill
Seventeen million gallons of petroleum were spilled in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn — significantly larger than the 11-million-gallon Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. The Greenpoint spill was originally discovered in 1978. Although some limited cleanup has been done, the full extent of the contamination has never been determined almost 30 years later.
About the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund
The New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund, part of the Office of the State Comptroller, was established to provide for the expeditious cleanup of spills. State law makes the Oil Spill Fund strictly liable for petroleum contamination. The Oil Spill Fund pays for the cleanup of petroleum spills when the responsible party does not, and pays damage claims for those injured by a spill. The Oil Spill Fund must seek reimbursement of its costs and can seek penalties for violations of state law.