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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Nonnewaug girls tennis seniors, from left, Maggie Keane, Skylar Chung, Maylan Hardisty, Kiley Stampp, Sam Duncan pose on their senior night. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Parking Lot Oil Spills Damage More Than Just Asphalt

According to NHS Assistant Principal Nicole Lewis, all vehicles on campus must be compliant with state motor vehicle standards. Unfortunately, many vehicles are still leaking fluids that damage far more than just NHS asphalt.
Evan Grieger ’24
According to NHS Assistant Principal Nicole Lewis, all vehicles on campus must be compliant with state motor vehicle standards. Unfortunately, many vehicles are still leaking fluids that damage far more than just NHS’ asphalt.

WOODBURY — As you drive down the Nonnewaug parking lot it could remind you of a demo derby car strip, one clunker after another filling the parking lot. 

With such a wide variety of vehicles, some NHS students rely on cars and trucks that may need attention: a dented fender, a cracked windshield, or perhaps most importantly (at least at an environmental level): leaking fluids. 

The dripping oil can cause many things such as most obviously the oil stains the parking spots, as well as the oil can deteriorate the asphalt, but it can have many unforeseen consequences such as environmental issues once they leach into soil and water systems.

“Oil leaks onto the parking lot, rain comes and washes it into storm drains which in turn leads into local rivers which eventually lead into the ocean,” said Nonnewuag’s environmental science instructor Chris York. 

Once oil makes its way into the ocean it can cause irreparable damage. 

“In the ocean oil can get into gills of fish, also oil coats the bottom benthic organisms so it has a huge detriment on organisms like lobsters, shrimp, crabs, and coral,” said York.

As visitors walk through campus parking lots they’ll notice a collection of spilled fluid from student vehicles. (Evan Grieger ’24)

The impact of something as seemingly harmless as a small drip of oil can lead to a danger that’s much larger. 

“[Oil] can be detrimental to the creatures that ingest the bottom dwelling organisms. The creatures that ingest the oil begin to face symptoms such as oral irritation, salivation, and champing of jaws, followed by coughing, choking, and vomiting,” York added. “Oil can also get onto birds which coat their feathers in oil affecting their feathers and reproductive abilities. Overall oil is just tearable on the ecosystem.”  

Although this problem seems to have the easy fix of just stopping the vehicles from leaking oil, there are many unforeseen challenges with that idea. 

Some challenges are some students simply can’t afford vehicles that may not have issues such as oil leaks. Since they don’t have time to have a full time job due to them attending school as well as sports and other activities outside of school.

“Between paying for fuel, insurance, and other expenses I’m really stretched thin,” said an anonymous senior. “Truthfully, I can’t afford to fix the oil leak I have.”   

Over time some vehicles begin to leak oil and the option of fixing the leak sometimes wont fit in the limited average high schooler paycheck.

Another problem with fixing some issues with vehicles students have is that mechanic shop hours limited on the weekends and during the weekday closing at 5 p.m. can interfere with extra curricular activities after school.

As for as NHS is concerned, part of the privilege of parking comes with ensuring that all vehicles are suitable for driving–and this includes addressing mechanical issues. 

“Every vehicle has to meet certain requirements to be considered roadworthy by the DMV,” said Nonnewaug assistant principal Nicole Lewis. “[Nonnewaug] has greater concern that the vehicles are road-worthy rather than if they perhaps have an oil leak.”  

About the Contributor
Evan Grieger ’24
Evan Grieger ’24, Reporter
Evan Grieger is a senior at Nonnewaug High School and a first-year journalism student. He is an active participant in the Woodbury FFA. Beyond the classroom, Evan has interest in working.
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