Monday, November 03, 2008

Come Right In: Open Gate At Highly Toxic Public Place


Pardon me for asking, but why would the heavily polluted Gowanus Public Place site be wide open to, excuse the pun, the public? Last week, I happened to drive past the lot and was surprised to see that the usually chained and padlocked gate was wide open.

On Friday, I grabbed my camera and walked down Smith Street to investigate further.
Sure enough, the gate was ajar and right there, just feet away, was a black barrel wrapped in yellow "Caution" tape. Further in, there were a few more.
Of course, I don't know what is in those barrels, but everyone here in Carroll Gardens knows that Public Place is heavily contaminated. The 5.8 acre canal front lot was a former gas manufacturing site owned by Brooklyn Union Gas. In the 197o's, the property was turned over to the city. Public Place has been classified as a 'Brownfield' site and analysis of the soil and groundwater have revealed elevated levels of benzene, lead, mercury, chromium and zinc.
Efforts are on the way to clean this toxic mess so that it can be developed into mixed-use development with over 700 units of low and middle -income housing.
In July of this year, vegetation and debris was cleared.
Signs attached to the fence clearly warn away from the lot. Why it had been left wide open is anyone's guess. Say, who is in charge anyway?

A Must See Video For Carroll Gardeners: "Brownfield Of Dreams"

Some Yardwork At Carroll Gardens' Public Place Site

Once Upon A Time On The Shores Of The Gowanus: Frank Shifreen And "The Monument Redefined " Show

For Home Page, click Pardon Me For Asking

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