Toxic Newtown Creek About to Get Cleaned Up

Economy, Business and FinanceBusinessHeavy EngineeringTravelU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyTransportation

Filthy Newtown Creek is about to get a lot cleaner.

The 3.8 mile waterway that separates Queens and Brooklyn was named a federal super fund site today, giving people on both sides reason to smile.

"This part is already developing gradually but slowly. I think there's lots of room for development it's a great neighborhood and I think having clean water is going to help." said Ray a Greenpoint resident.

A hundred fifty yeas ago this literally was sh#!s creek.

"Newtown Creek became the sewer for the city everything was dumped into the creek." said Paul Pullo of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee.

Raw sewage is no longer being discarded into the water, but the underwater soil is teeming with toxic waste including PCP's, heavy metals, and pesticides.

Don't break out your swim trunks just yet, the clean up is expected to take around 15 years, and could cost more than 500 million dollars.

The EPA is looking to get the oil refineries, factories that polluted the canal decades ago to foot the bill, companies like BP, Sun Mobil, Texaco, Brooklyn Union Gas and the City of New York.

For years people have been fighting to get this waterway cleaned up, now that its going to happen, there is some hesitation and fear of what may be dredged up here, and how that will effect the communities and businesses that line the creek.

"The fact that its going to take 20 years to clean it, and the fact its going to effect the communities projects and the businesses." said Christine Holowatz also of the Newtown Creek monitoring committee who went on to say there needs to be coordination between the EPA, to make sure progress, like construction of affordable housing on the banks of the canal, goes forward during the clean up.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading