Alright Gowanus Canal, where were we? The NY Times reports on the latest developments surrounding the clean-up debate, which is split between those who want it to be labeled a Superfund site and those who are afraid of that label's stigma (real estate developers). City officials are sided with the latter group, and have proposed an alternative cleanup plan that would be overseen by the EPA, would take less time, and wouldn't have such a scary word attached to it.

The plan would "allow polluters to voluntarily pay for the cleanup under binding agreements. To help bring them to the table, the officials said, the Army Corps of Engineers could complete a feasibility study it has already begun that calls for the corps’s own environmental restoration project at the canal. Such an effort would be eligible for separate federal funding and could reduce the ultimate price tag for the polluters."

An adviser of Mayor Bloomberg's said, “The goal is to have a Superfund-quality cleanup faster than the Superfund," but the plan still wouldn't be completed for 9 ½ years. The E.P.A. is concerned about the plan, saying it "relies on federal allocations that may not be forthcoming and adds to an already complicated process by having both the corps and the E.P.A. tackle parts of the cleanup." In other words: multiple parties, more problems.

Your opinion counts too, and public comments will be accepted on the proposed Superfund designation through July 8th, and supporters of the Superfund can go here.