Senator Meghan Kallman: National Grid has failed in regards to Tidewater remediation
As the district Senator, it is my expectation that the National Grid keeps the city of Pawtucket, DEM, and the Coastal Resources Management Council informed about such issues as they occur, rather than waiting for the public to report problems.
Earlier in 2021, National Grid began remediation of the Tidewater site in Pawtucket, which had been home to a gas manufacturing plant that closed in the late 1960s. Site remediation is the process of removing polluted or contaminated soil, sediment, surface water, or groundwater; a polluted site can have a serious impact on human health, water supplies, eco-systems and even on building structures.
- Toxic oil leak in Pawtucket traced to National Grid’s Tidewater Landing remediation efforts
- Photographer Alex Hornstein laments the wildlife lost to National Grid’s oil spillage
As part of the remediation effort, oil was spilled in the Seekonk River yesterday, creating an oil slick on the water. I called the spill in to DEM this morning, following a tipoff and some photographs from a constituent who wishes to remain anonymous. DEM had been unaware of the spill and referred it to the Coastal Resources Management Council (CMRC), because the river is in the CRMC’s jurisdiction.
This is not how regulatory bodies or communities should ever, ever have to find out about oil spills–particularly when those spills are hazardous to human, animal, and ecological health. Entities involved in remediation have the obligation to communicate clearly and promptly about this and any related issue.
National Grid consummately failed to do so.
As the district Senator, it is my expectation that the National Grid keeps the city of Pawtucket, DEM, and the Coastal Resources Management Council informed about such issues as they occur, rather than waiting for the public to report problems. It is my expectation that all entities concerned be proactive about communication when such problems occur. It is my expectation that National Grid acts swiftly and decisively to contain and clean up this spill to protect the health of people, animals, and the river itself. It is my expectation that National Grid does everything in its power to prevent another unacceptable accident like this.
Anything that happens within the city’s jurisdiction matters to us as the residents and elected officials of this community. We deserve complete and prompt information, as well as immediate action.