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Brooklyn Gets Its Very Own Superfund Site

The Gowanus Canal, an incredibly polluted industrial waterway that separates the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Carrol Gardens was declared a...


The Gowanus Canal, an incredibly polluted industrial waterway that separates the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Carrol Gardens was declared a Superfund site by the EPA today. The Gowaus is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country (while they often measure pollution by parts per million, in the Gowanus, they say, it is measured by parts per hundred), and now a 12-year, $500-million cleanup project is underway, managed by the federal government.City officials are upset, as they had their own plan to clean up the canal, at a faster speed, they say, then the federal government is capable of. Also, less magnanimously, the effect of being named one of the most polluted places in the country cannot have a positive effect on real estate costs and development prospects. Those concerns are probably reasonable from a municipal governance perspective, but being a Superfund site is probably the best bet for actually getting the nastiness in the Gowanus cleaned up (and that picture isn't a fluke, it looks like that all the time).The EPA named nine other sites Superfund sites, they are:Salt Chuck Mine (Outer Ketchikan County, Alaska)JJ Seifert Machine (Ruskin, Fla.)Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp - Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.)Chemetco (Madison County, Ill.)Lake Calumet Cluster (Chicago, Ill.)Gratiot County Golf Course (St. Louis, Mich.)Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa (Navassa, N.C.)Black Butte Mine (Cottage Grove, Ore.)Van Der Horst USA Corporation (Terrell, Texas)Photo by Andrew Mohin / The New York Times
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