Assemblymembers Joan Millman and Felix Ortiz Announce $275,137 State Grant to Clean-Up Gowanus

March 13, 2008
Albany – Last week funding was finalized for a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant of $275,137 to be distributed to Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus and the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation. The Assembly Speaker, Senate Majority Leader and Governor signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which allows the funding to be distributed. The grant is designated to complete a Nomination Study for five brownfield sites along the Gowanus Canal and the canal itself.

Long neglected, the Gowanus Canal and surrounding areas were once home to sizeable shipping and industrial areas. Following the decline of those businesses, the waterway and its banks have remained dangerously contaminated for decades. Analysis of the Gowanus Canal and surrounding brownfield sites have revealed elevated levels of benzene, lead, mercury, chromium and zinc. Currently, federal, state, and local governments, along with several community organizations, are collaborating to establish and implement a clean-up plan.

“We are making giant strides in the clean-up of the Gowanus and surrounding brownfields,” said Millman. “I thank my colleague Assemblyman Ortiz for working with me to secure funding for this much-needed study. In addition, I applaud these organizations for their commitment to improving the health and safety of the Gowanus community.”

“I am pleased that organizations in our Brooklyn community have been identified to receive a Brownfield Opportunity Area Grant totaling $275,137. Once this acreage is transformed into clean, usable land, it will be a tremendous asset to our community. I am very enthusiastic about this important initial step towards achieving our goal,” stated Assemblyman Ortiz.