You are here

Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Hochul Comprehensively Remediate All Toxic Sites in the Gowanus Canal Community to "Pre-Disposal Conditions."



SIZ - Simple Image Zoom


This coalition letter is a joint effort between Toxics Targeting and voiceofgowanus.org. Please visit their web site to learn more about this campaign.
You can also visit: Campaign to Require Governor Hochul to Clean Up All Toxic Sites in the Gowanus Canal Community to "Pre-Disposal Conditions"


The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York
The State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Hochul:

We, the undersigned, write respectfully to request that you remediate all Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites, Brownfields, hazardous substance releases and other documented contamination threats to the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY in strict compliance with State mandates requiring comprehensive toxic cleanups to "pre-disposal conditions" and pollution spill "source removal" in order to fulfill all applicable regulatory requirements.

As documented by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) data presented below, it is beyond dispute that your administration, as well as earlier administrations you served in, routinely and systematically failed to remediate dozens of massively polluted toxic sites that contaminate the Gowanus Canal.

See: Public Health and Environmental Toxic Threats Along the Gowanus Canal That Reportedly Do Not Meet All Applicable Cleanup Standards

That is why this immensely impaired toxic waterway was included circa 2010 on the National Priorities List for Federal Superfund Cleanup. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of dredging nearly 600,000 cubic yards of "highly−contaminated sediment" from the canal at a cost of $1.5 billion.

Regarding this remediation, EPA declared that:

"The remedy relies on the control of upland sources of contamination to the Canal, including the remediation of three former MGP [Manufactured Gas Plants, not in the original] sites adjacent to the Canal−−Carroll Gardens/Public Place (formerly known as "Citizens Gas Works"); former Metropolitan MGP, and former Fulton Municipal Works MGP (Fulton MGP) (emphasis added)."

See: Gowanus NPL

Your administration reportedly has no plans to remove cancer-causing coal tar contamination up to 150 feet deep at the three MGPs. In addition, DEC has failed to remediate more than 35 additional toxic sites "upland" of the Gowanus Canal in strict compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements.

As New York's Governor and Chief Executive, you have a duty to safeguard our state's public health and environment by strictly enforcing applicable laws and regulatory requirements. If you fail to require pollution source-removals at all "upland" Gowanus Canal sites and restore them to "pre-disposal conditions," EPA's massive dredging effort will ultimately be recontaminated by the same toxic sources that originally polluted this massively impaired waterway.

That would be an unthinkable and unacceptable exercise in futility. It must be avoided in order to safeguard public health in the Gowanus Canal community.

New York's Legacy of Toxic Sites

New York is threatened by a vast legacy of thousands of toxic chemical dumps, former industrial sites and abandoned municipal landfills as well as hundreds of thousands of leaking petroleum tanks and hazardous substance spills. According to government regulatory data, the vast majority of these environmental and public health hazards have never been comprehensively investigated or remediated in strict compliance with the maximum level of State or Federal cleanup requirements.

Your administration routinely fails to enforce State Environmental Remediation Program requirements codified in 6 NYCRR (New York Codes, Rules and Regulations) PART 375-2.8 (a):

"The goal of the remedial program for a specific site is to restore that site to pre-disposal conditions (emphasis added), to the extent feasible."

Your administration similarly fails to enforce Section 171 of the New York Navigation Law regarding uncontrolled releases of petroleum and hazardous substances:

"It is the purpose of this article to ensure a clean environment and healthy economy for the state by preventing the unregulated discharge of petroleum which may result in damage to lands, waters or natural resources of the state by authorizing the department of environmental conservation to respond quickly to such discharges and effect prompt cleanup and removal of such discharges (emphasis added), giving first priority to minimizing environmental damage, and by providing for liability for damage sustained within the state as a result of such discharges."

Conclusion

Given New York's long-standing and on-going failure to remediate toxic problems around the Gowanus Canal in strict compliance with the highest levels of cleanup mandated by our state's public health and environmental protection laws, tens of thousands of residents of that community face unacceptable public health risks, including low-income and minority residents that are New York's most vulnerable citizens.

The Gowanus Canal community is plagued by soil gas vapor intrusion hazards that are documented at many of the major toxic sites documented herein. Yet no comprehensive survey has been undertaken to identify or safeguard homes, schools, businesses and other structures that are contaminated by this known hazard.

Unremediated toxic pollution also could be spread by increased flooding associated with climate change since enormous quantities of Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL), such as petroleum contamination, underlie many of the toxic sites surrounding the Gowanus Canal. For example, Superstorm Sandy polluted vast areas of New York City when extensive flooding distributed toxic pollution that was never cleaned up.

As Governor of New York, you are responsible for resolving environmental and public health problems on a comprehensive basis without any further delay. It is imperative that our state no longer tolerates inadequate remediation of toxic contamination hazards by enforcing the strict enforcement policy we propose. If you implement that policy, you would set a standard for effective regulatory action that could be replicated all over New York and from coast-to-coast. With all due respect, if you fail to adopt that policy, you would be directly responsible for imperiling New York's public health and environment and must be held accountable.

We trust you will find our respectful request self-explanatory. We will contact you to arrange a meeting to discuss our request for urgent action. Thank you for your consideration and for your public service.

Very truly yours,

cc: Hon. Eric Adams
Hon. Charles Schumer
Hon. Nydia Velázquez
Hon. Antonio Reynoso
Hon. Steven Englebright
Hon. Jo Anne Simon
Hon. Jabari Brisport
Hon. Shahana Hanif
Hon. Lisa Garcia
Hon. Mary T. Bassett
Hon. Basil Seggos

Total Signatory Count: 1134

Veronique Nguyen
196 UNION ST
New York, NY
Lisa Wolpert
James Combs
Joyce Jonas
215 east 80th Street #5L
New York, NY
William Hirschfeld
824 west 176 street, #6B
new york, NY 10033
Lou Fenenella
350 President St
Brooklyn, NY
Lily Belk
471 Warren Street, Apt 1
Brooklyn, NY
Alexander Frechette-Moulter
471 Warren St Apt 1
Brooklyn, NY
Marilyn Gold
296 Carroll St
Brooklyn, NY
Utsa Ramaswami
Laura McKenna
Marketing Manager
NHS Brooklyn
66 Livingston St #1
Brooklyn, NY
Julian Ricardo
NMR Group Inc.
, NY
Brian Drye
Director
Ibeam Brooklyn
168 7th Street
BROOKLYN, NY
Erich Wood
804 President Street, Apt 1
Brooklyn, NY
Lauren Bisom
461 5th street
Brooklyn , NY
Lesley Kunikis
350 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn , NY
Debra Keneally
548 46th St, 4R
Brooklyn, NY
Sarah Shuster
Therapist
Downtown Somatic Therapy
334 1/2 President Street Apt 2
Brooklyn , NY
Maurice Frechette
103 2nd St
Brooklyn, NY
Tenzin Kunsang
3465 60th street Floor 3
Woodside, NY
Craig Gray
153 Prospect Ave, Apt 1R
Brooklyn, NY
Ariana Simmons
410 Saint Nicholas ave
New York City , United state
Garrett Benisch
511 President St, Apt 1
Brooklyn, NY
Phyllis Hillinger
74 Devon Rd.
Delmar , NY
Brooke Qualman
New York, NY
Leigh Loranger
96 Pioneer Street
Brooklyn, NY
Jeff Schroeter
96 Pioneer street
Brooklyn , New York
Scott Middleton
173 Garfield Place
Brooklyn , NY
Ellen Chuse
Ricardo Moncada
204 Huntington St
Brooklyn, NY
Cynthia Whitman
Kymberly Mortensen
Matvei Yankelevich
Editor-in-Chief
World Poetry Books
305 Prospect Pl, 4D,
Brooklyn, NY
keirsten geise
365 Bond Street, B707
Brooklyn , NY
Philip DePaolo
CEO
PD Consulting
32-15 42ND ST
Astoria, NY
Baptiste Laffond
51 Douglass Street
Brooklyn, New York
Shin Hwang
505 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY
Raquel Frechette
103 2nd St.
Brooklyn, NEW YORK
Ben Schrank
459 Carroll Street
Brooklyn, NY
Alan Rosner
861 Pacific St
Brooklyn, NY
Megan Malvern
Co-Founder
Children First
99 John St, PH 10, PH 10
New York, NY
Tim Ruedeman
Dr
NYU,
376 President Street, 1D
Brooklyn, NY
Bright Limm
146-08 Liberty Avenue
Jamaica, New York
Michael Kaminsky
Kaminsky
421 Degraw Street, 1K
Brooklyn, New York
GUY DESIMINI
19 3rd pl
Brooklyn , NY
John Ryan
Engineer/Technician
StageFlight,Ltd.
22 E.2nd St.
Brooklyn, NY
Karen Klatzkin
Adjunct English Professor
BMCC/CUNY
100 West 72nd Street, #5D
New York, NY
Liam Corcoran
446 3rd Ave.
Brooklyn, New York
Jonathan Groce
165 Luquer St Apt 2
Brooklyn, NY
Linda Roche
New York
333 Pearl Street, Apt. 20L
New York, NY

Pages