Oil Spill Confirmed Near Westchester, N.Y., River


     YONKERS, N.Y. (CN) – Firefighters contained more than half of the 2,100 gallons of home-heating oil that a truck spilled in Westchester, N.Y., Monday morning, the state said, adding that investigators will study whether the spill contaminated the Bronx River.
     Though details are sparse in the statement from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, it notes that the tanker-truck spill occurred at 125 Bronx River Rd.
     “Approximately 2,100 gallons of heating oil #4 spilled from the tanker truck, of which 1,500 gallons were contained by the fire department,” the DEC said.
     Bronx River Road becomes Webster Avenue, in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, another two blocks down from the spill.
     Spill-response workers with the DEC responded with the Yonkers Fire Department and other emergency responders to the spill this morning, and the state said it will “remain on scene to oversee the ongoing clean-up of the spill and investigation into potential contamination of the Bronx River.”
     Winding 23 miles through southern Westchester and the New York City borough whose name it takes, the Bronx River is a lush stretch of nature reclaimed from industrial peril a century ago.
     “The Bronx River Valley Sewer, initiated by Westchester County in 1905, began absorbing some of the worst sewage,” according to a section of the website bronxriver.org. “The largest project was the Bronx River Parkway, completed in 1925. The 15.5-mile ribbon of parks, lakes and limited-access roadway stretching from the Kensico Dam to Bronx Park provided a landscaped recreation zone and a pleasure drive for cars passing through at low speeds.”
     Mohegan Indians called it Aquehung, or the River of Hugh Bluffs. Beavers once dominated the river landscape but early settlers hunted the mammal to local extinction in the 1800s.
     Though the river’s cleanup has brought sightings of at least two beavers in recent years, pedestrians and bicyclists are more apt to see ducks, turtles, great blue heron and geese dotting the terrain.

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