Ramapo Oil Spill -UPDATED 3

UPDATE 09/01/11: “I’m very sure there’s no problems now,” said Mayor John DaPuzzo, referring to Mahwah’s drinking water supply. “The product is lighter than water, so it stays on the surface.”


Dead Fish And Fuel in Ramapo River, Mahwah Wells Shut Down. Mahwah has shut 6 wells in their water system as a precautionary measure. Oakland announced through a reverse 911 call that there are no signs that the water supply has been compromised, and tests to monitor the situation will be ongoing.

Tankers used to transport diesel and home heating oil were swept into the river. One truck slammed into a pipe connected to a 250,000-gallon storage tank.

The Ramapo River Basin Aquifer Systems are unconfined, or water-table aquifers, which makes them vulnerable to contamination. In addition, much of the soil overlying the valleyfill aquifer in the Ramapo and Mahwah Rivers valleys is highly permeable.  The aquifer is naturally recharged by the river, as such, the potential exists for incidents of surface water contamination to affect public supply wells tapping the Ramapo River Basin Aquifer Systems.( EPA Source)

Mahwah Patch : http://mahwah.patch.com/articles/dead-fish-and-fuel-found-in-river-mahwah-wells-shut-down.

Article in the Times Herald-Recordhttp://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110830/NEWS/110839973

Bergen Record: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Testing_to_be_done_to_determine_if_heating_oil_spill_contaminated_Ramapo_River.html


The mayor of Tuxedo Park NY is quoted as saying, “An environmental disaster is floating down the river….There’s fuel spilling into the river. … It’s everywhere.”

This is in response to reports of 15 to 20 heating oil trucks being consumed by the Ramapo River, up stream to Oakland, NJ.

The Tuxedo Park website,  referring to the neighboring town of Tuxedo, NY, states:

“The Town of Tuxedo, unfortunately, experienced historic to catastrophic flooding on the Ramapo River.  Approximately 15-20 heating oil trucks are floating in the Ramapo River, and the smell of fuel is pervasive.  The Town Sewer facility is also located on the Ramapo River and there are concerns about raw sewage spilling into the river.

The story has been reported on Fox news at:


Pictures of the oil trucks are available at:


Statement by town of Tuxedo Park:


Wall Street Journal


The Bergen Record:

Map Oakland to Tuxedo


An unofficial account was posted on Youtube with an accompanying video. According to the unofficial report,

” …the fuel company that resides along the edge of the Ramapo river failed to heed warnings and remove their trucks to high ground. This resulted in one of the trucks striking a storage tank and shearing off a valve causing it to empty it contents of home heating fuel oil into the river. Preliminary estimates put the amount of the spill at 25,000 gallons. The associated odor has caused additional residents to flee their homes. Downstream into NJ this river is used for drinking water.”

The Mahwah Patch is reporting police estimates of 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

This past summer, the Yellowstone River in Montana suffered an oil spill estimated at 42,000 gallons. The situation was similar to with flooding, and high, fast moving water. The video below is a resident in Montana expressing his concerns over the situation there this past summer.

3 thoughts on “Ramapo Oil Spill -UPDATED

  • Lori

    Very irresponsible that SOS did not adhere to safety precautions and simply move their tankers to higher ground given the advance warnings! I live in Oakland and the smell of gas and oil along the Ramapo river is profuse! It is bad enough that thousands have lost homes and or much of their belongings, now we have to battle the foul smell and adverse effects while cleaning up!

    Ultimately dozens of communities in NY and NJ where the Ramapo runs through will have to deal with the long term effects on the environment all because the management at SOS didn’t use common sense!

  • Sissy

    It seems no one ever wants to plan for the worst case scenario. We live in a flood plane, and there will be floods,small, large, and catastrophic,as the one we just witnessed.
    I live in Sloatsburg and we were not informed about the oil spill. No reverse 911 or 311 call was received in my home. Most people came down with headaches and received notification through word of mouth or a phone call,if they were lucky enough to have one working.
    Town, County Supervisor were missing in action, as well as the head of the Police department.The emergency evacs were left to the wonderful Volunteers in Sloatsburg FD.
    The local Dams in the area are aging,citizens along with government would be wise to develop some long term plan for notification and evacution for future catastophic events. Is there on already in place?
    Mutual aid and cooperation between the communities along this river needs to be investigated.

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