Brooklyn – Assemblywoman Joan Millman today announced her support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to officially add the 1.8 mile long Gowanus Canal to its Superfund National Priorities List. The Superfund designation allows the EPA the legal authority to compel polluters to contribute to clean-up costs. Assemblywoman Millman released the following statement.
STATEMENT FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOAN MILLMAN REGARDING THE DESIGNATION OF THE GOWANUS CANAL AS AN EPA SUPERFUND SITE
For decades, the community has demanded that the canal and surrounding land be completely cleaned in order to provide housing, including senior and affordable housing, parkland and recreational opportunities. I am confident that the Gowanus Canal will be a priority for the EPA and they will use the full weight of their authority to remediate the site comprehensively and expediently. I have been assured that the EPA will adhere to the highest and most complete standards of remediation and will utilize the most up to date monitoring systems to assess and avert any hazard to the community during the clean-up process.
I call upon the EPA to commence clean-up activities as soon as possible and not delay remediation due to lengthy legal battles with responsible polluters. Of the local residents, business leaders and community activists that I have met with, all agree that we cannot continue to ignore this heavily polluted waterway.
I again urge the City to continue moving forward with the planned rezoning of the Gowanus Canal area. The EPA has made it clear that its proposed remediation for the area will be dependent upon the final use of the land. Land that is zoned for mixed or residential use will be required to achieve a higher standard of clean-up.
A successful clean-up of the Gowanus Canal will tie together communities, provide open space for a variety of recreational uses, and create a safer environment for all.