"If you didn’t know, there are about 70,000 gallons of oil and industrial waste pooling beneath the city of Pittston. That’s about 10 of the petroleum tankers you’ve seen at your local gas station.
In the late 1970s, truck drivers for the Hudson Oil Refining Corp., of Edgewater, N.J., illegally dumped between 1.5 and 2.7 million gallons of oil, liquid cyanide and carcinogenic petrochemicals into mined-out coal veins beneath the city.
In 1979 and again in 1985, an oily liquid spewed from into the Susquehanna River from the Butler Mine Tunnel, a passage used to drain water from the mines below Pittston.
The Environmental Protection Agency identified 16 hazardous substances, including benzene, toluene, xylene and chloroform, in the 50-mile-long glossy residue that coated 50 miles of the Susquehanna in 1985. And the agency believes between 50,000 and 90,000 gallons of the stuff are still buried, pooling in mine works below the Butler Mine Tunnel, festering and waiting to again ride rising waters up and out of the tunnel."
Matt Hughes reports for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader April 16, 2011.