Rep. Rebecca Kislak issues statement regarding
multiple oil spills on Seekonk River in Pawtucket
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Rebecca Kislak (D-Dist. 4, Providence) today issued the following statement regarding multiple oil spills on the Seekonk River in Pawtucket:
“We need to ensure that our systems designed to support environmental integrity and resilience in Rhode Island are secure. We are learning from the news of recent oil spills in the Seekonk River in Pawtucket that our monitoring, reporting and enforcement systems need to be strengthened to adequately protect our environment.
“National Grid is cleaning up a brownfield in preparation for construction of a soccer stadium in Pawtucket. There have been multiple oil spills over the last month. I am grateful to the keen eye and insistence of my constituent Alex Hornstein, who is why we have documentation - video from November 10. And this may not have been the first, as Alex saw oil slicks on the river as early as November 4, and I share his concerns about why National Grid or their contractors didn’t report the earlier spill, why there was a second spill, and what needs to be done to ensure the safety of the site for our environment and all of us.
“A major, recurring spill like this one has a significant impact on the environment. We need to understand what went wrong here; why weren’t protective measures sufficient, and how can we ensure better protection for our water and shoreline in the future. We need that impact to be studied and documented so we can be sure that the site has been sufficiently remediated after the spill and we are better prepared for our future.
“I am grateful to my observant constituent who documented and reported the earlier spill. The environment belongs to all of us and the plans for the site should be readily available and easily understood, and the process for reporting a concern should be clear. Let’s come together now to improve our systems of accountability, both at this one construction site and for our local systems of reporting and enforcement.”