29 Jul 2009 @ 10:48 PM 

In Greenpoint Brooklyn, a local resident living on top of one of the USA’s most polluted areas of land, decided to capitalize on the estimated 17 million gallons of oil contaminating the groundwater.  The unnamed man, an otherwise reasonable citizen, purchased specialized drilling equipment and in his spare time, he started drilling for oil in the backyard of his Brooklyn home.

While you are sitting there trying to remember the words to the Beverly Hillbillies theme, I will make one notable point about the average size of an NYC back yard, ranging anywhere from 5 square feet up to roughly 20 square feet.  For instance, my house has a front yard which extends roughly 5 feet by 7 feet.  That’s what us NY folk call a “lawn”.  You could cut the grass with a pair of scissors if you wanted to.

According to various websites devoted to the epic pollution in Newtown creek, the massive oil spill does in fact exist under the mans house.  The pool of oil starts at a depth of roughly 40 feet below ground and extends down another 40 feet.  In his spare time, the Brooklyn man was able to get the 6 inch diameter hole to a depth of 23 feet before a neighbor noticed the foul smell from the chemicals being released through the ground.  A smell of gasoline filled the neighborhood for over a week before anyone discovered the source.

Due to the underground pressure of the gases escaping from this hole, the residents were unable to fill it in due to fear of an explosion.  It’s like they say, when you break the seal, you cant unbreak it.  Instead of filling in the hole, they had to get in touch with the Department of Environmental Conservation, who erected a ventilation device over the hole.  The device was essentially a piece of PVC pipe sticking into the hole.  The other end of the pipe was 40 feet above street level, allowing the gases to vent over the next several years.

Oddly enough there are exceptionally high rates of cancer, asthma and other untold illnesses in the neighborhood.  Who’d think, eh?

For the original article, click here

To get more information about the Newtown creek and the cleanup efforts click here.

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