Dredging process to remove 72,450 yards of waste from the Gowanus Canal gets underway
The process of what could be a decadelong cleanup is now underway with crews working to dredge tens of thousands of yards worth of contaminated sediment from the Gowanus Canal.
Over 100 years of pollution is finally being scooped up from beneath the canal's surface. Bulldozers pulled up piles of black slimy hazardous waste from the Superfund site.
The Gowanus Canal has become one of the most polluted waterways in the country. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials were also at the site to watch the work begin.
"When you look at other Superfund sites around the country we are on an ambitious timeline for cleanup," says Rep. Nydia Velazquez. "We have a long way to go, but with the start of dredging we are in the full swing of implanting what we have planned for years."
Officials say removing the contaminated sediment is a lot of work. Officials say they have a long way to go from a public health and safety perspective to ensure the job is done right.
"Watching our canal begin to be cleaned through federal public action, it isn't an understatement to say I feel proud to be an American," says Councilmember Brad Lander.
The long-term goal is to remove over 72,450 yards of the waste. Crews have already removed poisonous contaminants such as lead, mercury and copper from the canal.
Residents and officials say they look forward to seeing the end result.