The EPA recently released its proposed plan to clean up the Gowanus Canal Superfund site and will hold public meetings on January 23, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at Public School 58 (the Carroll School), 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn and on January 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 West 9th Street, Brooklyn to discuss the plan and answer questions.
The Gowanus Canal, in Brooklyn, New York, is bounded by several communities including Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook. The canal empties into New York Harbor. Completed in 1869, the Gowanus Canal was once a major transportation route for the then separate cities of Brooklyn and New York City. Manufactured gas plants, mills, tanneries, and chemical plants are among the many facilities that operated along the canal.
As a result of years of discharges, storm water runoff, sewer outflows and industrial pollutants, the Gowanus Canal has become one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies. Contaminants include PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics. The contamination poses a threat to the nearby residents who use the canal for fishing and recreation.
Riverkeeper has actively pushed for the cleanup of the Canal for years, and on March 2, 2010, EPA added the Gowanus Canal to the Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). As a member of the Community Action Advisory Group (CAG) for the Gowanus Canal, Riverkeeper believes that a transparent public process has been and continues to be critical to developing a successful cleanup plan. We encourage our members to join Riverkeeper at one of two public meetings on the cleanup plan, and to submit written comments to the EPA by March 28th.