EPA Reveals that the City of New York is a Gowanus Polluter!

The Gowanus was particularly foul smelling last night and as I was crossing over the Carroll Street bridge I mused over the battle of the Superfund. The whole ongoing brouhaha over the City's plan vs. the Feds, pitting developer against community and whatnot. How the City only got interested when there was potential for development to be stalled while the canal got the environmental clean up it so needed. How DESPICABLE it was that the city OK'd bringing large new condos and thousands of new residents into a place that is an aquatic brownfield.

So, today, despite the gloomy weather, I felt the sun shining on me when I read the news that the EPA is going ahead as planned and ignoring the City's stall tactics. Hey guess what? The City is one of the major polluters! No surprise here. Bloomberg's sudden interest in cleaning the canal was pretty transparent. The other polluters named so far are the U.S. Navy, Con Edison and chemical maker Chemtura. The EPA sent letters letting them know that they're suspected polluters who will have to pay if the canal becomes a Superfund site.

Also a recent article in Architect's Newspaper,entitled,Twice as Smelly it was called to attention that seven years ago in Mayor Bloomberg's first term, Bloomberg pulled a publicity stunt similar to his most recent in October where he announced the investment to a clean waterway. Seven years later, it hasn't happened. I quote from the Architect's Newspaper:

" The 2002 cleanup was to bring the city in compliance with the Clean Water Act, which was being violated during heavy rains that swamped the system and sent sewage into the canal. By 2005, when the improvements still had not been made the state filed a consent order compelling the city to come into compliance. But it was only this October that the mayor finally re-pledged the 150 million originally promised."

Read some of today's coverage on the EPA naming some potentially responsible parties. (PRP's to those who know far too much about this!)

The Daily News

The Gothamist


Anonymous said...

What a surprise... NYC using a third world sewing system.
Where I come from and in a local language ( Occitan ) the Gowanus canal would have an other name : "cagarot" ( "shit stream" )

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anyone thinks this is good news? Our City is being sued so a few crazy kayakers can touch the fowl water?

What's the cost to the City and where will they find the funds? Will the City have to close a few more firehouses and layoff teachers? This stinks worse than the Canal!

Eileen said...

I don't think that the point is that kayakers can touch the water. I think it's a health issue for city residents. What has it cost the city to help build Yankee and Citi Stadiums? What is the city kicking in for the Atlantic Yards? I believe the city has given hundreds of millions to that project and the developer says he still needs more. I say sue the city, give the money to clean up the Gowanus and drop the Atlantic Yards project. Bloomberg has to be held accountable to everyone, not just rich people.