ENVIRONMENT

New Jersey’s Industrial Coast Remains Vulnerable to the Next Extreme Storm

By Scott Gurian for NJspotlight

It was early on October 30, 2012, after the winds from Sandy had died down, when the call came in to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center hotline. Just before 5 a.m., a worker at the Motiva diesel terminal in Woodbridge said that flooding had caused an unknown quantity of fuel to leak into the Arthur Kill, between New Jersey and Staten Island.

The Kinder Morgan biodiesel terminal in Carteret was one of several oil and gas facilities that flooded during Sandy.

As day broke and employees were able to conduct a more thorough inspection, they realized that the storm had knocked over one of the storage tanks, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel into the river. Hundreds of workers were dispatched to the scene, and a massive cleanup and containment operation began, which would continue into the evening hours as a news helicopter hovered overhead.

The Coast Guard also received a call that morning from the Phillips 66 Bayway refinery in Linden, which reported a discharge of “slop oil” from the facility’s sewer system…

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