Feds declare Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal a Superfund site

Daniel L. Squadron

March 08, 2010

Now it’s official: The Gowanus Canal is a real stinker.

The feds today declared Brooklyn’s long-polluted industrial waterway a Superfund site, which fast tracks a much-needed cleanup of the canal and surrounding land — and also kills a massive luxury housing development slated for its banks.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to add the 1.8-mile canal — once dubbed "Lavender Lake" for its purplish chemical hue — to the Superfund’s National Priorities List was a huge blow to developer Toll Brothers, which confirmed it’s officially dropping plans to build 450 condos and townhouses near Bond, Carroll and Second streets...

Despite the objections, the Superfund designation had a groundswell of local support from various grass-roots groups like the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association and Cobble Hill Association and many local elected officials, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez and state Sen. Daniel Squadron.

"The EPA reached the same conclusion I did: designating this waterway as a Superfund site is simply the most reliable way to ensure we have the dollars and the coordination to undo years of environmental damage," Squadron said. ...

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