A giant oil spill that’s been languishing underground in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Greenpoint neighborhood since at least the 1950s might not be as big as first thought — it’s likely even bigger! Initial estimates pegged the spill, which came from a number of petroleum facilities in the 1950s, at 17 million gallons, but a new U.S. EPA report says the spill could be as large as 30 million gallons (significantly larger than the more high-profile Exxon Valdez disaster). The EPA says the state should conduct tests to determine whether vapors from the slick could be entering homes and businesses in the area. The EPA report also suggests re-estimating how long it will take to clean up the spill, a process being undertaken by ExxonMobil and other oil companies; the best guess in 2001 was that at the rate it’s been going it’d take until 2026. Borrowing language from President Bush concerning a different long-lasting ugly mess, an ExxonMobil spokesperson said the company would “stay in Greenpoint until the job is done and the job is done right.” Hopefully with a much lower body count than that other job.

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