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Catholic Church Oil Spill Update

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 6/7/24 | 6/7/24

By Elizabeth Barr

COBLESKILL — As a follow up from last weeks article on the oil spill at the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church at the corner of Elm Street and Washington in Cobleskill.  The spill was a result of the fuel oil tanks on the property. The following was DEC’s response to me.


On May 25, DEC responded to a report of fuel oil in a tributary to Cobleskill Creek off North Grand Street in the village of Cobleskill. DEC Spill Response experts, along with the Cobleskill Fire Department and Schoharie County Haz Mat, investigated and determined the fuel was leaking from a church being demolished at the corner of Elm Street and Washington Avenue. The fuel oil tanks were not properly cleaned before demolition, causing oil and sludge left in the tanks to leak into the clay tile drain, spreading to a culvert on Elm Street, and then into the creek. 

DEC deployed an underflow dam to the tributary and absorbent pads and booms to the tributary. DEC and the Cobleskill Fire Department cleaned out the culverts on Elm Street. 

DEC is working with its cleanup contractors and the church and its demolition company to remove the remaining oil from the tile drain.  

There are no impacts to drinking water sources at this time. DEC will continue monitoring the cleanup to ensure it is protective of public health and the environment.

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