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EPA Responds to Oil Spill in the Rahway River

Release Date: 12/21/2005
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(#05152) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to work with the U.S. Coast Guard and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on a coordinated response to an oil spill at the Conoco Phillips Refinery site in Linden, New Jersey. The spill, first observed on Friday, December 16, was caused by a leaking valve that was immediately replaced; the discharge of oil and water has been stopped. EPA became the lead federal agency for the response on Saturday afternoon.

"EPA is working to ensure that the spill is cleaned up quickly, with the least possible impact on the surrounding ecosystem," said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "We are on the scene actively overseeing the cleanup by Conoco Phillips and its contractors."

Approximately 80,000 gallons of an oil and water mixture were determined to have spilled. To date, approximately 28,000 gallons of the oil and water mixture have been recovered. Currently, there are approximately 240 responders conducting cleanup operations along the Arthur Kill and Rahway River shorelines. Booms have been placed at the confluence of the Rahway River and Arthur Kill, Sawmill Creek, and the Rahway Yacht Club to prevent potential oil impacts on those areas. Six oil skimmers are operating on the Rahway River. EPA continues to monitor the situation from the air in order to observe the full extent of the spill. In addition, Conoco Phillips contracted with experts to recover and rehabilitate wildlife.

For information on EPA's Emergency Response Program, please visit the EPA web site at