A massive cleanup is underway after thousands of gallons of an oil-like substance were spilled into a waterway in Westchester when a Con Edison manhole exploded, officials said.
Approximately 17,000 gallons of oil-like fluid spilled into the New Rochelle Harbor, which feeds into the Long Island Sound, on Saturday, July 17.
It potentially could take weeks to clean up, though there has been no reported impact to drinking water as officials monitor potential effects on wildlife in the area.
According to Con Edison, the explosion was caused by a malfunction of the company’s equipment that caused dielectric fluid to flow into the harbor, which feeds into the Sound.
The fluid is not hazardous, and is a coolant used in transmission cables that are used to transmit electrical power underground from Westchester to Long Island, officials noted
Police were forced to close down the area on Saturday morning following the manhole explosion, as New Rochelle Fire Department HazMat units began to clean up the scene and investigate the spill.
The Coast Guard and New Rochelle Police Department Marine Unit were also present at the scene following the explosion to assist.
According to fire officials, crews placed booms by one driveway on Nautilus Place to keep the fluid out, then hooked up with police to place booms across the mouth of the harbor to prevent any additional spillage into the Long Island Sound.
The cleanup is being overseen by the New York State Department of Conservation, which said it could be weeks. Con Edison has since made repairs and is assisting with cleaning efforts.
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