Gowanus gets Superfund designation
The EPA has named Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal a federal Superfund site, thus identifying it as one of “the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country” and making it a target for a comprehensive clean-up process. The agency estimates that clean-up will last 10 to 12 years and cost between $300 million and $500 million, with funding to draw from parties responsible for the canal’s contamination (so far, the City of New York, the US Navy and seven private companies including Consolidated Edison and National Grid have been identified as potentially responsible). The New York Times reports that most of the canal is likely to be dredged, and continuing sources of contamination, including overflowing sewage and groundwater seepage from adjacent industrial sites, will also be eliminated.
The subject of what to do with the Gowanus has been at the center of debate and reflection for some time. Urban Omnibus recaps its coverage of discussions and events on the topic; the Times has amassed a gallery of readers’ photos of the site.
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