Yesterday the EPA came out with a report from the first phase of a federal investigation into what exactly is in the Gowanus Canal and where it’s actually coming from. If you’re brave enough to read it in full, the PDF can be downloaded here. The Brooklyn Paper breaks down the report, which finds that “uncontrolled discharges of sewage, storm water and other types of discharges into the Gowanus continue to contaminate the canal.” There are more than a dozen contaminants, two of which are suspected carcinogens. Next up the EPA will review different options to clean up the canal and then remove all the existing debris and strengthen the bulkheads. Even after all remediation is said and done, EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck says, The level of contamination is so severe that I don’t feel comfortable saying that when we’re done, it will be fishable or swimmable. Yeah, we think we’ll pass.
Photo by Jackie Weisburg