Hundreds of gallons of toxic oil poured into a neighborhood street, causing unknown environmental damage.

An auto shop's worst nightmare became reality on Saturday when a massive oil spill poured out of their garage and into a nearby street. We all know that used motor oil can be toxic. The dark black liquid contains dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, benzene, lead, and magnesium. If allowed to spill onto the ground, it can contaminate the ground and destroy local vegetation. Even worse, the oil could also make its way into local streams and waterways, causing irreparable damage to the local ecosystem.

Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596
Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596
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According to ecologists, one gallon of used motor oil can destroy up to one million gallons of freshwater. If not properly cleaned up, the oil can be quickly carried by rainwater to nearby rivers and waterways.

On Sunday evening, emergency crews responded to a report of a major oil leak at the corner of Hooker and Meyer Avenues in the City of Poughkeepsie's quiet south side. Images posted from the local fire department show the oil spilling out of R S Automotive. The huge pool of spent oil is seen coming out of the garage, down the shop's driveway, and out onto Meyer Avenue. What looks like hundreds of gallons of spent oil is shown making its way towards a nearby home.

Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596
Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596
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It's unclear what caused the leak, but automotive shops do have collection drums where they collect used oil for recycling. Fluids used when working on cars, as well as oil collected from the public for recycling, can be stored in these large drums before they're taken away for safe disposal.

Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596
Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596
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There has been no update posted as to how successful the containment effort was or how much oil actually made its way into the surrounding area. R S Automotive is about a mile away from the Hudson River and only a block or so from waterways that lead to a lake on the Vassar College campus.

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