Gowanus Superfund Debate: Both Sides Now


The latest Gotham Gazette includes editorials from people on both the yea and nay sides of the Gowanus Canal Superfund debate. In the pro-Superfund corner is Riverkeeper attorney Joshua S. Verleun, who argues that "the ultimate goal must be a comprehensive and thorough cleanup of the canal, rather than a piecemeal approach by state and city agencies with different priorities." Verleun also writes that Superfund status will guarantee that funds are eventually made available for the waterway's cleanup, whereas the city's pledge to rehab the canal leaves many open questions about where the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary for a full cleanup of the Gowanus will come from. Toll Brothers Vice President David Von Spreckelsen, meanwhile, pens an anti-Superfund piece arguing that the city's cleanup plan is poised to begin this fall, and it would immediately begin to address the area's most pressing sewage problems. A Superfund designation, he says, would be "counterproductive" in light of such plans. Von Spreckelsen also writes that the Superfund process would not be able to raise the estimated $400 million required for the cleanup by tapping private parties responsible for contamination since so many of those parties are small businesses. The EPA will make a presentation to the community about the proposed Superfund designation tonight at 6:30 at the P.S. 32 auditorium (317 Hoyt Street).
On the Gowanus, Say 'No' to Superfund [Gotham Gazette]
Brooklyn's Lavender Lake Needs Superfund [Gotham Gazette]
Conflict over Gowanus Canal Superfund Status [Brownstoner]
Photo by lornagrl.

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