The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating after a barge carrying toxic sludge from Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal Superfund site sank back into the water, officials said Wednesday.
The barge carrying an estimated 850 tons of dredged material was moored in nearby Gowanus Bay when it sank on Monday, the EPA said in a statement. Dredging was halted to allow contractor Cashman Dredging to secure the sunken boat.
The EPA said a small hole was found and patched up, and appeared to be the cause, but that it was still investigating. The agency said the bulk of the material appeared to have remained on the barge, according to initial observations.
The Gowanus Canal, an industrial dumping ground during much of the 19th and 20th centuries, was declared a Superfund site in 2010. The surrounding area has transformed into a trendy neighborhood in recent years even as plans for a multimillion-dollar cleanup of the 1.8-mile waterway proceeded.