Hot on the heels of the bitter fight over whether to designate North Brooklyn’s putrid Gowanus Canal as an EPA Superfund site, the feds are now saying that they want to add the equally putrid Newton Creek to the list of specialized areas to pour money and effort into cleaning up.
Acting EPA Regional Administrator George Pavlou tells the NY Post, “Newtown Creek is one of the most grossly-contaminated waterways in the country. By listing the Creek, EPA can focus on doing the extensive sampling needed to figure out the best way to address the contamination and see the work through.”
If it’s approved, the EPA would pour taxpayer dollars into the canal — as opposed to toxic sludge, which is what’s been poured into it off and on for the past 150 years — in an effort to decontaminate it. The Brooklyn Paper today reminds us of the 30-million gallon oil spill that still lurks under the waters of the Newton, and that, like the Gowanus, the creek is regularly flooded with billions of gallons of sewage.
The battle over Superfunding the Gowanus has been contentious, mostly because local business and residential developers haven’t wanted the stigma attached to an area they’re looking to make money from. The Newton debate should be a little smoother, as it’s mostly an industrial area.
Although, traditionally the Bloomberg administration has been opposed to the EPA designating Superfund sites locally.