Feds score $16 million from Getty Oil for Newtown Creek dumping

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

A bankrupt oil company is shelling out $16 million toward cleaning up Newtown Creek, where it dumped oil and other chemicals.

Getty Oil, which reportedly filed for bankruptcy in 2011 to cushion itself against mounting environmental cleanup costs, agreed to the big-money settlement to atone for its misdeeds in Greenpoint’s backyard after being pressed by the feds.

“For more than a century, irresponsible industrial activities turned Newtown Creek into a tributary of toxic waste,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement. “Today’s settlement ensures that Getty takes responsibility for its contribution to that sad legacy, and pays a fair share of clean-up costs at the site.”

The federal government will get $14,844,800 towards the still-being-planned Newtown Superfund cleanup and $1,155,200 for other testing and cleanup, per the terms of the settlement. Thirty million gallons of oil seeped into Newtown Creek from multiple sources over the course of decades, an amount more than three times that spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. The fetid inlet was declared a federal Superfund site in 2010.

The feds have already spent more than $25 million testing the creek and devising a remediation plan, according to Ryan Kuonen, chairman of the local community board’s environmental committee. It is no secret that the scrub-down is a long way from being done, Kuonen said.

“They have always been honest about it being a 20-year timeline and it has only been four years, so we have a long while to go,” he said.

A Greenpoint resident said he is glad to see Big Oil being made to pay.

“Anything that we can get from these companies is good,” said Dewey Thompson, founder of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, which launches kayaks and canoes onto the putrid channel. “I am glad they are going after these guys and that some of the money is coming back.”

Petro-giants British Petroleum, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil have committed tens of millions of dollars in recent years to cleaning up oil dumped and spilled into the foul waterway.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

tin can from bucket says:
NBBC, often plastic kayaks and canoes. Whatever became of Marie L with her lovely carved wooden boat?

Very pleased to read the phrase 'multiple sources'.

Keep in mind EXXON is cleaning up the mess made by the company it bought.

Important to clarify the terribly gross industrial revolution made a few men very rich (who were often more generous than present day tycoons) and also enabled the lower classes to multiply and become consumers.

Cheap, bigger, more, faster.

Digital revolution and so on. At least these new poisons are excavated and processed elsewhere, right? ?

- typed on a cell phone.
Oct. 24, 2014, 3:55 pm
Sammy from Brooklyn says:
A lot of money spent on testing and planning. Will there be any left for the actual cleaning?
Oct. 24, 2014, 4:09 pm
Epiphany from Ex-Brooklyn says:
16 million? How much did the oil companies "contribute" to politicians' campaigns to let them off the hook for the price of one major CEO's salary?

16 million (the price of about 8 luxury apartments in the new Williamsburg) goes NOWHERE in bribe-ridden, Schumer-dominated investment bank-powered Brooklyn.

16 million does not even come close to the cost of treating all the leukemia and cancer cases and funerals of residents living around Greenpoint and Williamsburg. In fact, in ten years, we may find leukemia to be the leading cause of death in aging hipsters.

"Survey Finds High Cancer Rate In 2 Neighborhoods in Brooklyn "
Oct. 24, 2014, 7:09 pm
tin can from bucket says:
Epiphany, Being that you've left Brooklyn, is it safe to assume you drive a car?
Oct. 24, 2014, 9:36 pm
Ex-Brooklyn from Brooklyn says:
Dear tin can,

In fact, we do not own a car, though occasionally we do rent one when we need one. I use a custom-built bike trailer to haul groceries and other errands under about 100 pounds (12 months a year). It's actually not that difficult. We did careful research to find a place we like we could live like that. We do miss you guys, though!
Oct. 25, 2014, 1:32 pm
tin can from bucket says:
Epiphany, Apologies for the claws. Please coat yourselves in bright flashing lights.

More like 5 joker pads built on lots most likely improperly remmediated.
Oct. 25, 2014, 2:45 pm
Epiphany from Ex-Brooklyn says:
Dear Tin can,

Thanks for that update on the Williamsburg real estate snapshot Now I have to revive the math in my rant to show that the "cleanup" fund the oil companies are insulting residents with is currently only enough loot to buy 4.47 upscale apartments in the new Williamsburg.

It is also a well-known fact that those Kent Ave river lots in Williamsburg were riddled with low level radioactive and medical waste during the 70's and 80's (and very early 90's). Vans used drive up all hours of the night and dump mysterious piles off the west side of Kent Ave. I'm sure city officials and DEP made some nice side loot looking the other way, fudging test results and bulldozing over to make way for those apartments. Will Williamsburg and Greenpoint be the the next Love Canal in 10 years?

It all might be underwater anyway in 25-50 years, so it might not matter. (Will Getty give another $16,000,000 for that?)

Take care of yourselves.
Oct. 25, 2014, 4:39 pm
Donna from Greenpoint says:
Does it really cost $25 million to "test and devise a plan"?!?! Rubbish!
Nov. 2, 2014, 7:42 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: