Massive oil spill threatens quiet Hudson Valley


Hundreds of gallons of toxic oil spilled onto a neighborhood street, causing unknown environmental damage.

An auto store’s worst nightmare came true on Saturday when a massive oil spill spilled from their garage on a nearby street. We all know that used motor oil can be toxic. The dark black liquid contains dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, benzene, lead and magnesium. If it spreads on the ground, it can contaminate the soil and destroy local vegetation. Worse yet, oil could also find its way into local streams and streams, causing irreparable damage to the local ecosystem.

Facebook / City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596

According to environmentalists, one gallon of used motor oil can destroy up to a million gallons of fresh water. If not properly cleaned, oil can quickly be transported by rainwater to nearby rivers and streams.

On Sunday evening, emergency crews responded to a report of a major oil leak at the corner of Hooker and Meyer avenues in the quiet southern town of Poughkeepsie. Images released by the local fire department show the RS Automotive oil spill. The huge basin of used oil comes out of the garage, goes down the aisle of the store and leads to avenue Meyer. What looks like hundreds of gallons of used oil is shown heading towards a nearby house.

Facebook / City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596

It is not known what caused the leak, but auto stores have collection drums where they collect used oil for recycling. Fluids used during work on cars, as well as oil collected from the public for recycling, can be stored in these large drums before being taken away for safe disposal.

Facebook / City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596

No update has been released on the success of the containment effort or on how much oil actually seeped into the surrounding area. RS Automotive is about a mile from the Hudson River and just one block from the waterways that lead to a lake on the Vassar College campus.

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