State Senator Daniel Squadron
Buddy Scotto Getting Rather Angry
Pardon me for asking, but at last night's meeting on the Gowanus Canal Superfund Nomination, did you hear that the EPA normally measures pollutants in parts per millions, and sometimes in trillions, but that in the Gowanus Canal , pollutants are measured in parts per hundreds?
Did you also hear that on the Hazard Ranking System, the minimum score of eligibility is 28.5? The Gowanus scored 50 out of 100 on the very first test. No further tests were necessary to convince the US EPA to nominate the canal as a Superfund site.
According to Walter Mugdan, US EPA Director of the Emergency and Remedial Response Division, there can be no rational discussion about whether the canal needs to be cleaned up. The meeting last night was more about the when and how. The primary objective, Mugdan explained, is to identify the sources of the contamination , clean up the sites along the Gowanus, and then to dredge the bottom of the 2 mile long canal.
He minced no words when he stated that a lot of money will be needed, and that it may take time. The progress "will be slower than you may hope, but faster than you might fear" Mudgan told the audience. He assured residents that the site will have a high profile, high priority and "will get a lot of attention."
Calling the Gowanus the city's most blighted area, he assured the audience that work on the flushing tunnel could continue as planned and that New York City's plan for the rezoning of the canal area would not have to be delayed. On the contrary, the EPA's clean up would be completely consistent with the wishes of the community as expressed through zoning. Responding to critics who maintain that property values will drop sharply if or when the Gowanus would be declared a Superfund site, Mr. Mugdan mentioned that property values are more a function of the real estate market.
" There is no sane person who does not know that this area is heavily contaminated. We did not tell anyone anything that they did not know about the pollution."
Well, maybe he could sit down with some of our elected officials who supported development along the canal prior to a thorough clean-up. Our own Councilman Bill DeBlasio was all too eager to bring low-income housing to the heavily polluted shores of the Gowanus. I sure would love to hear what he has to say about it now.
Dear Readers, what is your opinion on this and what is your vision for the Gowanus Canal?
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