From the NY Times:
Newtown Creek, the heavily polluted waterway recently chosen for a federal Superfund cleanup, equally burdens Queens and Brooklyn because it straddles both boroughs. But several Queens officials have written to the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure the agency doesn’t play favorites.
The officials, including Representative Carolyn B. Maloney and the Queens borough president, Helen Marshall, assert that the E.P.A. has primarily focused on the Brooklyn side of Newtown Creek in studies and sampling of the waterway. They say that the agency has taken no samples in Newtown Creek’s Queens tributaries, including Dutch Kills, Maspeth Creek and East Branch.
In fact, they complain that the E.P.A. listed Newtown Creek as being only in Brooklyn in a fact sheet.
“While Newtown Creek borders both Brooklyn and Queens, up to now most of the E.P.A.’s attention has been on the Brooklyn side of the creek,” the officials wrote in a letter sent on Friday to the agency’s administrator, Lisa Jackson. “That has to change. Time after time, Queens has simply been forgotten — literally omitted from the studies, the documentation and the E.P.A.’s attention.”
In a statement, E.P.A. officials said that all five tributaries of the creek — Dutch Kills, Whale Creek, Maspeth Creek, East Branch and English Kills — are officially part of the Newtown Creek Superfund site.
“They are all included in the plan for sampling the water and sediment that is currently being developed by the agency,” the E.P.A. said. “Throughout our sampling, investigation and clean-up, we will work closely with the communities along the creek and share information with officials and the public regularly.”