Advocates: Gowanus Canal cleanup should come first over development plan

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GOWANUS -

Neighbors and advocates say something smells fishy about a proposed rezoning plan around the Gowanus Canal.

The canal is already a Superfund site under the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Dredging up contaminants has already begun in certain areas of the polluted waterway.

Advocates say the cleanup effort should continue to be the priority before any proposal to rezone and build begins.

EPA officials tell News 12 that they took the possible development of the area into account:

“The EPA'S Record of Decision addresses real estate development in the vicinity of the canal. In anticipation of potential redevelopment, the ROD requires that any future activities which fall under the city's purview, including development, do not compromise the effectiveness of the Gowanus Canal remedy.  Among other things, the ROD specifically states that ‘redevelopment projects will need to take mitigation measures to prevent or offset additional sewer loadings’ to the canal in order to protect the remedy.”

Officials from the Department of City Planning say rezoning will ensure that a thorough review of site contamination and a remediation plan, if needed, will take place before redevelopment.

Concerned neighbors have five more days to submit their comments and opinions to the Department of City Planning.

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