Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FYI: The Gowanus Canal

Gowanus Canal


The Gowanus Canal, is located in Brooklyn, New York, and is bounded by several Brooklyn 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. 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 impacting the canal include PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics. The contamination of the canal poses a threat to the nearby residents who use the canal for fishing and recreation.

EPA has proposed to add the Gowanus Canal to the Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The proposed listing would allow the Agency to further investigate contamination at the site and develop an approach to address this contamination. With the proposal of this site to the NPL, a 60-day comment period will begin during which EPA solicits public input regarding this action. For instructions to submit comments go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/pubcom.htm or contact Dennis Munhall, Region 2 NPL Coordinator at (212) 637-4343 or munhall.dennis@epa.gov. Once the site is placed on the NPL, EPA will expand its investigations to further define the nature and extent of contamination.


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........