Gowanus Canal Is Totally Grody, Finds EPA


After a yearlong evaluation of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, the EPA has released their report on the levels of contamination in the waterway. The results, published yesterday, aren’t good for the Superfund site. Two suspected carcinogens — PAHs and PCBs — were found to be “widespread” in the canal. How do you avoid exposure to these nasty acronyms?

Don’t eat fish or crabs caught in the canal. Don’t swim in the canal. Don’t even look at the canal. (Okay, you can look at the canal.)

The New York Times reports a major cleanup is planned that will “last 10 to 11 years, at an estimated cost of $300 million to $500 million.” Taxpayers shouldn’t worry; the polluters will pay for the cost. If you own or have owned a chemical plant or tannery along the banks of the Gowanus, you may see an invoice in your mailbox soon.

If you want to discuss these findings with EPA officials in person, they will be holding a public meeting on February 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at PS 32 in Brooklyn.

EPA Investigation of Gowanus Canal Identifies Widespread Contamination, Health and Ecological Problems; Hundreds of Samples find PAHs, PCBs, Heavy Metals and Other Toxins [EPA]

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