10/22/2007

Shootin' the Sh*t about the Gowanus Canal

I went to the meeting regarding the Gowanus Canal Ecological Restoration Study attended by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corps of Engineers. They spoke about what their studies have shown and just what IS the plan for cleanup of our beloved sewage and industrial waste clogged canal.

Well, they didn’t have a lot to say about what will be done. Because most of it won’t happen until the year 2010. A couple years after the zoning changes and by then the condo’s will probably be built!

There was a lot of talk of about sewage. About “floatables” and lowering “C.S.O’s” which stands for “COMBINED STORM AND SANITARY OUTFALLS”. C.S.O’s are a combination of raw sewage and industrial waste mixed in with things like pesticides and bacteria. C.S.O’s don’t look good and don’t smell good either. Basically, they want to keep the C.S.O’s submerged rather than floating around on top as it is in the above photo which I took after a massive rain storm last month.

In 2010 a new pump MIGHT be installed, which comes at a cost of 125 million dollars to the city and dredging might begin sometime before that happens. Until then, reduction of floatables will be done manually by scooping it up somehow from boats that cruise the canal. Another frightening option to control the sewage runoff into the canal, is to store it in huge containers, but that would take several acres of land, so I don’t think that’s an option.

Many questions were asked and not many were answered. Questions like, “Does anybody monitor the dumping done by the cement companies and the scrap metal yard?’ or “What about storm barriers in case of a highly likely catastrophic storm surge?” or “What if the pump fails like it has in the past but now we have 1.000’s of new residents?”

The stock answer seemed to be “Well, I can’t really answer that.."

2 comments:

who walk in brooklyn said...

Gracias for the report FIB, tho' i'm still plugging all sortsa different letters into the aster*sk spot, not sure what the best one is.

One thing to remember is that The Army Corps are just bureaucrats. Ultimately they have no "control" over anything, really; they pretty much just do what others tell them.

Besides the politicians-- very few of whom give a fuck (obviously)-- MUCH greater responsibility lies with the propagandistic media, which includes, but is not restricted to the numerous blogs which have been little more than mouthpieces for real estate. The mainstream press is just as bad and of course it was THEY-- before there were blogs-- who set the know-nothing tone that only a few laudable individuals have been trying to correct through years of street knowledge & public meeting.

That the large scale residential development of Gowanus is even an issue in light of

1) the environmental issues there
2) ** working industry ** there

is mind-boggling, if not totally surprising in the context of city wide malfeasance-- as bad as it gets in South Brooklyn, remember the South Bronx has it even worse. (It's not on quite the same scale but sh*t goes on in Canarsie and Marine Park that would infuriate anyone here too... if they ever heard about it.)

some points to consider:

Q1: what's the REAL story of the last in the life of the flushing tunnel, it's supposed "repairs" & why they take so long to complete, AGAIN?

Q2: why the sudden interest in the canal side industries? Are these really "environmentalists" asking quetions or the secret voices of people who want to remove the working class from the canal zone altogether?

Q3: Not to imply NIMBYism since I wasn't there but where's all this great environmentalism when it comes to the people who live on the other side of Hamilton Avenue? I'd have thought at least a FEW people who "discovered" "soccer tacos" in the last few years would have also noted the garbage transfer station hell nearby (& Red Hook Houses but a block away.)

Q4: why was the city so eager to remove Red Hook Crushers from 3rd Street for a Whole Foods location where ** nothing ** is happening. UPDATE: the fence is now knocked over-- something!

Q5: compare the amount of press, from the newspapers to blogs to Marty Markowitz's Borough Hall about Whole Foods "plans" with the 3rd & 3rd reality. While not the cleanest racket environmentally, compared to the hell a (radically anti-union) Whole Foods Gowanus would be it was fine, and also served a very important function in a "booming" construction economy.

As with many things however, you don't actually need a "conspiracy" if everyone is equally ignorant or complacent.

That said, MAJOR major props to those who've fought DECADES on these issues. It's my great fear that some otherwise well-meaning folk are unwitting pawns in the real estate game but... we'll see, and hopefully I'm wrong.

All Pets Go To Heaven,

Junius Van Sinderen
Who Walk In Brooklyn

Lisanne McT said...

Wow that's a whole lot of points to respond to.

Well, we all know the South Bronx has it worse and I think most people who go to Red Hook (or I should HOPE SO!) are aware of the projects and the garbage transfer station but may not be aware of the fact that the methadone clinic on Van Dyke Street was probrably THE most booming business down there until Bait & Tackle and then Fairway opened up but I digress...so as far as the enviromentalists, the community isn't as tightly knit as the C.G area, it's a lot bigger with a lot bigger problems...drugs, unemployment etc hence the perfect place to put a garbage transfer station!

The Flushing Tunnel? A mystery!

The fence? That was me! I kicked it over 'cause I was mad!

But in all seriousness it's a sad comment on the way things work that "development" is looked upon as the way to clean things up. Because if it were poor folks moving in, they wouldn't be bothering. BUT as it is, the clean up isn't slated till AFTER building will probrably start so you got me on this one....