Saturday, June 20, 2009
Superfund the Gowanus
Members of FROGG, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, ask that you please go to superfundgowanus.org and sign the petition to support the EPA Cleanup of the Gowanus Canal. The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn has neglected sewers combined with a history of heavy industry that has never been properly cleaned up. In April 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency nominated Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal as a Superfund cleanup site on its National Priority List (NPL). To get on this list means this waterway is super toxic, it used to be known as Lavender Lake because it glowed psychedelic hues from all the oil, coal tars, heavy metals, lead, PCBs, toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Benzene/Toluene/Ethylbenzene/Xylene in it.
Beyond being a chemical dumping ground for all these years the Canal is also a highly neglected sewage overflow system where Combined Sewage Overflow points (CSOs) spill into the Canal depositing our fecal matter, condoms, tampons and anything else that gets flushed into the Canal when we have a heavy rainstorm. Recently, strains of Gonorrhea and other venereal diseases were even discovered in Brooklyn's "Love Canal".
Beyond neglect, there have been no comprehensive health studies done in the community to study the impacts of living near such an industrial toxic mess for the residents and the larger ecosystem of plants, birds and fish. We do know that 2 years ago, a 12-foot apparently healthy baby Minke whale died within two days after getting lost and swimming just outside the locks of the Gowanus Canal. The U.S. Coast Guard nicknamed the whale Sludgy because it appeared to be covered with oily sediment from the canal!