Superfund

is finally coming to Brooklyn, but not where you might expect it. On December 23rd the Bloomberg Administration announced that it will support the designation of Newtown Creek, which runs through North Brooklyn and parts of Queens, as a Superfund site. Newtown Creek was recommended for the Superfund by the EPA last year. But don't go getting any ideas, Gowanus; the city still has no intentions to extend this designation to your infamous canal.

Marc La Vorgna, a spokesperson for the mayor, told the Post, “In Gowanus we have a viable alternative plan that we believe will get the canal just as clean. There isn’t an alternative plan at Newtown Creek. If we thought there was a better way to do it, we would say so.” Specifically, Bloomberg plans to enlist the Army Corps of Engineers to clean the Gowanus Canal. Up the 65% of that work would be funded by taxpayers, increasing the incentive for the remaining cost to be paid by the responsible parties. The Bloomberg Administration has also argued that a Superfund designation would stigmatize the Gowanus area, which they hope to transform "into a residential, commercial and manufacturing area with thousands of luxury units and $400 million in private investment," according to the Brooklyn Paper.

However, it is unclear how long it would take the Army Corps of Engineers to even begin work on the canal. The Corps has a backlog of over 1,000 projects, adding up to $61 billion. “Superfund has a proven track record,” Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Sunset Park) told the Brooklyn Paper. “It is unclear why it would be permissible to utilize Superfund for one site yet oppose using it for the other.”