I am reprinting this article from today's Daily New's because it is so nice to get an honest account about what is going on over the battle between the community & the EPA versus Bloomberg and assorted developers which include suburban home giants and Williamsburg condo blighters, The Toll Brothers.
Bloomberg nor anyone else in the city cared about the Gowanus until developers started snooping around dreaming about building condos like the glass/steel ones on the Bowery in Manhattan. Except these were going to be built on a toxic brownfield on the shores of an aquatic brownfield without a thought to health and environmental risks. I guess waterfront prooperty is waterfront property! For almost 2 years there has been a battle between the developers and environmental activists/historic preservationists concerning a rezoning that would allow over 2,000 new residents into this fragile area which lacks infrastructure (schools?!)and would bring significant traffic into a neighborhood with narrow streets.
Anyway! Surprise surprise, even though 80% of the comments were PRO Superfund on the governments website and there WAS a deadline, Bloomberg is acting like that the city is already the ones who are cleaning it, the pumping station is only PART of the puzzle.....I just don't get it. Condos are empty, constructions projects are abandoned- doesn't it make SENSE to let the EPA come in and clean the canal with money that does not come from us?
Anyway a long lead in to an article, honestly reported.
"Advocates of Superfund cleanup of Gowanus Canal denied entry at city launch of $150M cleanup"
BY Erin Durkin
Gowanus Canal advocates charge they were shut out of Mayor Bloomberg's kickoff of a canal cleanup because they support designating the polluted waterway a Superfund site.
The group of eight was barred by police from entering the Friday event, at which Bloomberg launched a $150 million project to improve water quality.
Some members of the group had hoped to attend as members of the Department of Environmental Protection's Flushing Tunnel Rehabilitation Stakeholders Committee, formed in 2002 to work with the city on plans to rehab the canal's flushing tunnel.
"It was really a private party," said committee member Marlene Donnelly. "They wouldn't let us through the gates. They actually told us we weren't allowed to stand on the sidewalk there because this was a private event."
Bloomberg has lobbied vigorously to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency from making the canal a Superfund site, saying the city can do its own cleanup faster and without driving away potential development.
"I had my Superfund sign with me. I'm not going to deny that," said Linda Mariano, another committee member, noting that local activists who oppose a Superfund designation and representatives of developer Toll Brothers were let in. "It was an extremely sad scenario there on Friday."
Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said the event was "for invited guests and the media .... They [those denied entry] were permitted to be just outside the event on the street and make their voices heard."
The city project includes fixing the canal's flushing tunnel, upgrading a pumping station so less sewage will be dumped into the canal, and dredging part of the waterway.
Read the actual article here.