Tuesday, March 2, 2010

EPA Tags Gowanus as Superfund, Swamp Thing Happy

The big news of the day comes from the EPA, which designated the Gowanus Canal as a Superfund site. Everybody is on this one, from Gary Buiso at The Courier, to Gersh at The Brooklyn Paper, to the New York Times. Here's the Times' interview with a mayoral spokesperson:
“It’s disappointing,” said the spokesman, Marc LaVorgna. “We had an innovative and comprehensive approach that was a faster route to a Superfund-level cleanup and would have avoided the issues associated with a Superfund listing.”
“The project will now move on a Superfund time line, but we are going to work closely with the E.P.A. because we share the same goal — a clean canal,” he said.
Dan Squadron's office was first out of the gate with a reaction. It is posted below.
"Having achieved a Superfund listing, we must now ensure that the cleanup is transparent and effective, and that the community is included in the process of planning and oversight. As the community has long argued, the canal and surrounding area must be cleaned comprehensively--the cleanup must address the silt in the canal bed, the water itself and the upland portions of the site. Further, the EPA must guarantee that its work complements existing efforts to clean the canal and revitalize the community. Specifically, acknowledging the value of the City's construction of a flushing tunnel to address Combined Sewer Overflow pollution is critical, as is working cooperatively with DEC to approve the needed barrier along the embankment of the Public Place site.
Working efficiently and with the community, the EPA will be a welcome partner in the effort to clean the Gowanus Canal.”

Swamp Thing, right, applauded the EPA's decision, noting that he left the Gowanus Canal for San Diego last November because it was too toxic to live in.
Updated 4:50 PM: Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez adds her comment too. Below:
“Today’s announcement of Superfund designation ensures the Gowanus Canal will be fully restored, helping provide a healthy future for South Brooklyn . The EPA has the proven expertise to oversee a comprehensive clean-up, while holding accountable those responsible for the pollution. As this process moves forward, I will continue working to revitalize this local landmark so that it can fully live up to its potential.”

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