With Newtown Creek officially a Superfund site now, the Department of Environmental Protection has closed off the waterway to boats, kayaks, and the like. But the people have spoken, and they want their polluted waters to remain open for recreation! According to the Brooklyn Paper, the EPA claims its a "short-term ban" that will remain in place until the state can analyze the water quality. A DEP official said the decision was made out of “an abundance of caution” with regards to public health.
Head of the Newtown Creek Alliance, Kathleen Schmid, told the paper, “No kayaker has been hurt or gotten sick after years of use of the public waterways. The city, as well as the kayakers, have known the state of Newtown Creek’s waters for years and the city felt no compunction to limit access based on information that they have themselves collected.”
The two sides will meet in December to discuss the new policy—a meeting one Community Board member promised would be "lively." His stance on the new rules? "This is bullshit." Well, there's always the Gowanus, which is also Superfunded but still allows recreation. Pretty sure no one's contracted gonohorrea from it, yet.