After years of discussion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published its plan to clean up the highly toxic Gowanus Canal on the banks of Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill, in tony brownstone Brooklyn. But to the horror of many in nearby Red Hook, the EPA’s proposal includes a plan to turn poisonous sediment from the canal into a concrete substance and dump it into a steel-enclosed container in the New York Harbor, adjacent to Red Hook’s massive complex of low-income housing projects.
The landfill would increase the size of a shipping dock owned by a controversial Red Hook cement manufacturer named John Quadrozzi, who was fined by the state for improperly securing hazardous waste. The fine had remained unpaid as of 2012, but Quadrozzi now tells us he’d settled with the state for $60,000.
Mud dredged from the canal, contaminated with heavy metals, mercury, PCBs, coal tar, bacteria and, yes, Gonorrhea, may very well get barged to Red Hook, where it will undergo de-watering in a not-yet-built treatment plant, on property owned by the same cement manufacturer.
The public has until this Saturday, April 27th, to comment on the plan before the EPA finalizes it. (Details on submitting comment here.)
The $500 million EPA cleanup proposal has pitted scrappy, industrial, low-income Red Hook—still reeling from the devastating floodwaters of Superstorm Sandy—against its wealthier neighbors in Carroll Gardens, where residents are itching to get the canal cleaned.
(read more at Gothamist)
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