What to Know
A DEC environmental engineer tells News 4 his cleanup crew has collected more than a ton of tar balls from Lido Beach and Long Beach
State Senator Todd Kaminsky has asked DEC to launch an investigation into the tar balls, which can sometimes form after oil spills
Locals are "extremely concerned about the possibility of a petroleum spill," Kaminsky wrote in a letter to DEC
A Long Island politician has asked the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to launch an investigation after a bevy of tar balls washed up on two beaches.
The tar balls, described by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as “dark-colored pieces of oil,” have been washing up on Lido Beach and Long Beach over the past few days, State Senator Todd Kaminsky wrote in a letter to DEC on Tuesday.
“As your agency is aware, large, black objects were discovered on the shores of the Long Beach Barrier Island over a 3.5-mile stretch between Matlock Street in Lido Beach and Lafayette Boulevard in Long Beach,” Kaminsky wrote.
“As DEC is currently cleaning up the debris, I request that such debris be tested in order to ensure proper clean up and prevent future contamination," he added.
Tar balls “are often remnants of oil spills, but can also be produced from natural seeps, places where oil slowly escapes from the earth surface above some petroleum reservoirs,” NOAA’s website says.
Resident Gregg Kane told News 4 he realized there were tar balls on the beach after he took his neighbor's dog for a walk.
"When we came in, the dog had black feet," he said. "Little prints all over the floor... and we couldn't figure out where it was from."
A DEC environmental engineer leading the cleanup told News 4 his crew collected more than a ton of tar balls over the past two days.
There have been no reports of oil spills in the area recently.
Nevertheless, Kaminsky said residents are “extremely concerned about the possibility of a petroleum spill."
"... [C]larification of this matter would be appreciated in the most expeditious timeframe," he wrote.