Federal Cleanup Plan for Gowanus Canal Could Cost $504 Million
Friday, December 28, 2012 - 08:07 AM
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put forward a plan to clean up the beleaguered Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
The new plan calls for dredging the canal bottom to remove some of the contaminated sediment and capping the dredged areas. Under the plan raw sewage overflow into the canal will also be controlled to stop contamination from sewage and other land-based sources.
Judith Enck, EPA regional administrator, says while the plan will make the waterway more viable for plants and animals, it won't be perfect. "It's not going to be a picnic, especially in the beginning, for the fish, but we pay real close attention to habitat restoration and the long-term goal is that fish and wildlife will do fine after the dredging. I mean it's not a real good situation now."
The clean up is expected to cost between $467 and $504 million. Enck says that the EPA expects not to have to pay for it, since the original polluters have been identified. She says she expects that the viable companies and municipalities will be held accountable for the entire cost, despite that some of the original polluters are now bankrupt.
The EPA will accept public comments on its proposed plan until March 28, 2013. Public meetings are scheduled on January 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Public School 58 (the Carroll School), 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn, and on January 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 West 9th Street, Brooklyn.