Statement from Councilmember Lander on his call for Better Coordination of Gowanus Cleanup
“This is a critical moment for achieving the long-desired cleanup of the Gowanus Canal – not only the highly toxic sediment at the bottom, covered by the EPA’s Superfund process, which I strongly support, but also better water quality, reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs), stopping the contamination still flowing from the manufactured-gas plant sites, and improving the canal’s bulkheads and shorelines. Taken individually, addressing each of these domains is important but incomplete. Taken together, they can be more than the sum of their parts: they can transform the Gowanus Canal from a toxic environment into a sustainable community resource for decades to come.
So it is critical that all three levels of government work together productively, in a comprehensive, coordinated, thoughtfully-sequenced process. That’s why I am calling on the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to accelerate its “Long Term Control Plan” for CSOs – currently not due until 2015, after Superfund remediation decisions are made – and on the US EPA, NYS DEC, and NYC DEP to better coordinate their separate processes. I’m grateful that the Brooklyn Community Board 6 Public Safety, Environmental Protection, Permits & Licenses Committee voted last night to support this effort. Together, we can achieve a once-in-a-generation cleanup of the Gowanus Canal, polluted so deeply over the past two centuries. Let’s work together to do it.” Read more »