New York and New Jersey power utilities have agreed to split the remaining $10-million cost to clean up up nearly 1,700 gallons of dielectric fluid discharged into the Hudson River from a transmission line operating between New York City and Jersey City, N.J.
The agreement came in an Aug. 19 filing in U.S. district court in Newark, N.J.
Newark.-based Public Service Electric & Gas and New York’s Consolidated Edison jointly own two seven-mile long 345-kV transmission lines encased in a 10-in.-dia pipeline that carries the cables between the Farragut substation in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Hudson Switching Station in Jersey City. It runs under the East River, overland in Manhattan and is buried under 15 ft of sediment in the Hudson River. Con Edison maintains the entire length of the cable.
The pipeline is filled with dielectric fluid under pressure to cool the transmission lines and protect them against erosion. The fluid leaked into the river in 2016 near a marina in Jersey City.
The leak presented an “imminent and substantial treat” to the environment, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which oversaw the response to clean up the oil discharged into the river and remove contaminated sediment surrounding the cable.
Caldwell Marine International, Wall Township, N.J., was contracted by Con Edison and PSE&G to locate and repair the leak, according to the firm's website. Its crews attached a permanent clamp on a weld joint to contain the leak.The existing line was filled with grout and excavated material was backfilled to match the original river bottom.
The two utilities had paid the federal government $4.3 million in cleanup costs in 2018, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined to rule on a PSE&G complaint seeking shared compensation, saying the dispute had to be addressed in federal court.
The two utilities now will split the nearly $10 million remaining cost reimbursement due plus a $77,389 civil penalty.
The funds will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Fund.