The following note was sent to the GNL President by Justin Shafer, Environmental Program Administrator, Division of Environmental Storm Water Management, Department of Public Works – City of Norfolk to udate the neighborhood on the efforts with regards to an oil leak in the Hague and request our assistance.
“For the last six weeks the Division of Environmental Storm Water Management has been investigating a slow oil leak into the Hague at the intersection of Stockley Garden sand W. Olney Rd. Working with staff from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Norfolk’s Fire Marshal’s Environmental Crimes Task Force, and PetroChem Recovery Services (the City’s contractor for spill cleanups) we have worked to reduce the effects of this leak on the water quality of the Elizabeth River and to identify the source. Though the boom and absorbent placed across the Hague have prevented widespread pollution, we still have active discharge of oil sheen. No physical oil itself has ever been seen to discharge, leading all involved to believe that contaminated groundwater is the source, as this would result in a slow release of sheen byproduct with each tidal cycle. The most likely source for such contamination is a ruptured heating oil tank, though it could be something buried many years ago.
I am writing first to reassure the residents of Ghent that this does not pose any health threat. Beyond that, we realize that having the boom in place and the odor from the sheen can both be a nuisance. We are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible; however, we have largely exhausted all measures available to us in identifying a source. We were hoping the residents and commercial or religious entities in the area around StockleyGardensmight be made more aware of the situation so that they could be on the lookout for indicators of a leak. Such indicators might include: 1) oil seeping or leaking into a basement or 2) abnormally fast use of heating oil in an active tank. We are not looking to find a culprit and would not hold anyone accountable. We would be happy to prepare an informational letter/flier or to attend an upcoming civic league meeting. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as we work to alleviate this problem.
If you have any questions [or information] please feel free to give me a call Monday through Friday, 7:00-3:30 – (757) 823-4048″