PSEG cable leaked oil

DEC, Coast Guard, Town called into assist, oversee


PSEG Long Island has confirmed that a dielectric fluid-filled transmission cable was taken out of service on Jan. 12 because of an oil leak.

“De-energizing the cable did not result in any customer outages,” said spokesperson Jeffrey Weir. Last week, the DEC said that the leak was 900 gallons, but that number could not be confirmed with PSEG.

Weir said that PSEG found the source of the leak and it was stopped the next morning. Permanent repair clamps were installed the following day. Additional testing on the pipe in the vicinity of the leak is ongoing.

Weir said they are working in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and can confirm that the fluid leaking is non-toxic. Remediation work being done includes removing contaminated soil.

Representatives from the USCG, NYSDEC and the Town of Hempstead, including Bay Constables, are on site with PSEG Long Island crews to monitor the clean-up progress.

A PSEG employee noticed the spill that Sunday night, said DEC spokeswoman Aphrodite Montalvo. She added that an electrical cable was leaking cable oil — an oil used to protect and cool electrical cables — into a creek from an Atlantic Avenue bridge. She said that workers quickly de-energized the cable to reduce the rate of the spill, and it was later clamped to stop the spill entirely.

The spill affected soil and surface waters through a storm drain. Some of the oil was recovered, but a thin sheen of oil is expected to remain but will eventually dissipate, she said. “There should not be any health impacts from the spill,” she said.

The Village of East Rockaway conducted a visit to the site on Jan. 16, and their engineer, assistant building superintendent and village clerk-treasurer met with PSEG. They found that the high-voltage transmission line, which consists of a high-pressured fluid-filled steel pipe containing three high-voltage conductors, are insulated and cooled by pressurized sythetic oil. The steel pipe was corroded and breached at a joint where they oil started to leak. The breach was fixed, and the cleanup is expected to go on for some time.