As a Superfund Site, the Gowanus Canal Will Take Ten to Twelve Years to Clean Up

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This is an entire car being swallowed by the Gowanus.
This is an entire car being swallowed by the Gowanus. Photo: PardonMeForAsking

Today the Environmental Protection Agency declared the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn to be a Superfund site — that is, one of the most hazardous waste sites in the nation. By assigning that designation, the EPA hopes to ensure that the groups responsible for polluting the area, rather than the taxpayer, pay for its cleanup. According to their research, that includes "National Grid (the successor company to Brooklyn Union Gas), Consolidated Edison, the city of New York, the U.S. Navy, and Chemtura Corp," the last of which definitely sounds like the kind of place that would pollute a river, if it were run by a mad scientist from a comic book. But the city, and local group Clean Gowanus Now, had hoped to work with developers to fix the area's problems much more quickly. The EPA argued that the city's plans were not sufficient, and now planned developments for the area have been scrapped. But never fear! That little abandoned shack you bought and cleaned up with your very own flipper hands will still be worth a mint — in ten to twelve years!

Gowanus set for 10-12 year Superfund cleanup [Crain's NY]