I have slowly read my way through the Gowanus Canal Remedial Investigation Report, which was released by the Environmental Protection Agency just last week. The report confirmed the widespread presence of contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The sediment also included high level of metals including mercury, lead and copper. These contaminants are dangerous to human health, especially if they get in contact with the canal water and the sediment, or if they eat fish and crabs from the Gowanus.
What keeps on going through my mind while I read the report is how New York City was willing to rezone the shores of the Gowanus Canal to include residential housing before a comprehensive clean-up like the one which will be designed by the EPA to address these dangerous contaminants. And my mind goes back to all the public meetings involving the Toll Brothers' spot rezoning for two blocks on Bond Street, which was eventually granted to them by the New York City Council.
For many in the community, the results of the EPA's in-depth investigation just confirmed what they already knew. The contaminants in the polluted waterway pose a risk to humans and need to be removed before more residents move to the shores of the Gowanus.
The EPA will explain their findings at a public meeting on February 23rd. Read below: