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Press Release | Dec. 8, 2023

UPDATE: Unified command receives lab results linking NY, NJ cleanup efforts, identifies responsible party

NEW YORK — The unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Office of Emergency Management, and Monmouth County Department of Health, received oil sample lab results from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Laboratory Friday, linking together oil spill cleanup efforts in both New York and New Jersey. 

Vane Brothers Company, as represented by Gallagher Marine Systems, has been identified as the responsible party. The pollution originated from a spill that happened during a transfer at an oil facility on the evening of Nov. 22, in Bayonne, New Jersey. The Coast Guard and Vane Brothers responded and monitored cleanup efforts for this spill and this incident is currently under investigation.

The following week, tar balls were discovered on the New Jersey coast from Sea Bright to Asbury Park; and additional pollution was discovered on the shoreline north of Coney Island Creek in the Gravesend Bay area of Brooklyn, as well as tar balls at Fort Wadsworth beach on Staten Island.

The connection between the oil spill and the tar balls at the New Jersey response sites, as well as in Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn, have been linked by samples taken from each site and verified through the Coast Guard Marine Safety Laboratory. Results for samples of tar balls found at Fort Wadsworth are still pending.

As of Friday, cleanup crews finished efforts at the New York sites and will initiate a monitoring phase to ensure there is no more pollution in the water or on beaches in New York. Clean-up efforts continue in the vicinity of Long Branch and Monmouth Beach in New Jersey.

Vane Brothers Company, as represented by Gallagher Marine Systems, has been incorporated into the Unified Command to assume response efforts and ensure that any potential impacts to the environment and public are mitigated.

“I can’t overstate the value of the collaboration across the Unified Command members in driving towards a resolution of our response actions,” said Capt. Zeita Merchant, the Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey and Coast Guard Sector New York commander. “Drawing on the expertise of all our partners in New York and New Jersey is critical in ensuring that the interests of the public and the safety of the environment are met. There remains work to be done, and the responsible party is taking leadership in any potential issues related to the spill moving forward.”   

For information on claims related to these incidents, the public may contact the responsible party at 1-800-963-6275. 

Beach goers and mariners are advised to avoid contact with the tar balls. Anyone who notices any tar balls or oil sheen in the area should contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.