EPA Releases Gowanus Test Results


This morning Pardon Me For Asking and Gowanus Your Face Off published the results of EPA testing in the Gowanus Canal after Hurricane Sandy. The EPA tested flood waters at the ground floor of two buildings along the canal. One building is at the head of the canal and the other one is near the 3rd Street turning basin. You can find the full release, in PDF form, here. Here are some highlights:

Levels of bacteria were high. While this type of bacteria becomes inactive over time, these findings reinforce the need for people to protect themselves when cleaning up flood waters that contain sewage and therefore contain bacteria… Low levels of gasoline and diesel derivatives were found, consistent with road run-off which often contains traces of fuel. Levels of semi-volatile organic compounds were very low or not detected… Levels of most volatile organic compounds and metals were very low or not at levels that could be detected.

The nonprofit environmental watchdog Riverkeeper also tested the waters after Sandy and found high levels of bacterial contamination in the Gowanus but also said the very high tides “flushed” the entire harbor with clean sea water.
Testing After Sandy – EPA Results [GYFO]
EPA Releases Hurricane Sandy Sampling Results [PMFA]
Photo by GYFO