Feds Outline Options for Gowanus Cleanup

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Gowanus Canal Gowanus Canal (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Environmental regulators outlined the options for cleaning up Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal on Tuesday, and now they want the public's feedback.

A detailed planning document made public by the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday describes the different ways PCBs and other pollutants could be removed from the waterway, including a variety of methods for dredging, treating and capping contaminated sediment.

Under the Superfund law, the polluters, not the taxpayers pay the cost of remediation. The total bill could reach into the hundreds of millions, and cleanup will take years.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries the banks of the Gowanus canal were a major center for gas plants and paper mills. In 2010, the oily and toxic waterway was designated a federal Superfund site.

There's no deadline to comment on the various plans, but the EPA plans to hold a public forum later this month.


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