Source: https://www.nydailynews.com, February 11, 2019
By: Clayton Guse
The defunct Brooklyn gas station thought to be the source of last week’s noxious smell on the L train has contaminated local groundwater for decades.
Over the 17 years between 1989 and 2006, the owners of the station at 2 Bushwick Ave., reported five chemical spills to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, public records show.
Gasoline spills in April 1989, January 1992 and January 1999 affected the local groundwater, and another gasoline spill in 2006 seeped into the soil, records show. The records don’t show how much gas was involved in the four spills.
A fifth spill in May 1989 dumped 20 gallons of gasoline into the local sewer system, the data shows.
The vacant gas station is located directly above the L train tunnel between the Grand St. and Graham Ave. stops, where riders said the smell was most pungent.
Transit officials said the tank was abandoned for more than 20 years after DEC officials opted not to remove it, citing its proximity to the subway tunnels. But their timeline may be off — fuel was sold at the gas station as recently as 2017.
DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said Monday that the agency had not yet identified a single source of last week’s disturbing odor, and that a comprehensive investigation into the issue was ongoing.
City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes the vacant station, said his office received very little communication from the MTA on the source of the L train stink.
“To make matters worse, the information we have received is conflicting and leaves many unanswered questions about the gravity of the situation and its impact on the health of the riders and residents,” said Reynoso. “This is especially angering and adds insult to injury when considering that north Brooklyn has a history of experiencing environmental injustices, specifically oil spills.”
The MTA is building a new underground electricity substation across the street from the abandoned gas station. Neither the new substation nor any other MTA project is responsible for last weeks’ fumes, said agency spokesman Shams Tarek.