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

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This coalition letter is a joint effort between Toxics Targeting and 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."


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

Scott Patterson
brooklyn, NY
Frederic Gindrey
11 2nd street
Brooklyn, NY
Bernice Gordon
359 Warren st
Brooklyn, NY
Mick Stevens
Douglas Huszti
Brooklyn, NY
Lia Huszti
467 Warren Street, #2
Brooklyn, NY
Bette Korman
258 Riverside Drive, 7A
New York, NY
Judy Richardson
300 E.4th St
Brooklyn , NY
John Golden
376 President St, Apt 4H, Apt 4H
Brooklyn, NY
Yadira Rodriguez
218 10th Street
Brooklyn, NY
Briana Harris
Brooklyn, NY
Nikolas Capella
478 Warren St
Brooklyn, NY
Barbara Kaminsky
463 Degraw Street
Brooklyn, NY
Samuel Henriques
Voice of the Gowanus
278 6th Avenue
Jon Crow
771 Union Street
Brooklyn , New York
Theresa Salvanti
9 Jackson Place
Brooklyn, New York
Daniel Knoth
26 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY
Leslie Clark
West Village Residents
233 West 4th Street
New York, New York
Pete Davies
New York, NY
Michael Kramer
Seaport Coalition
143 Avenue B #PHB
New York, NY
Greg Seel
142, 14th St
Brooklyn, NY
Xavier Moss
Art Against Dsiplacement
309 W 114th St, 3C
New York, NY
Marcia Friedland
345 Carroll Street, 2c
Brooklyn, NY
Susan Montgomery
135 Nevins St
Brooklyn, NY
Michael Fenimore
Voice of Gowanus
201 Nelson Street
Brooklyn, NY
Frank Esposito
195 Luquer street
Brooklyn , NY
Sarah Cameron Sunde
New York, NY
Martin Einhorn
376 President Street, Apt 2F, Apt 2F
Brooklyn, NY
Barrie Steinberg
330 Bergen St
Brooklyn, NY
Daniel Lam
Brooklyn, NY
Olivia Zisman
579 Classon Ave. #4
Brooklyn, NY
Christina Longo
251 7th St.
Brooklkyn, NY
Elizabeth Sweetheart
Brooklyn , NY
Elisa Orr
John Laguer
376 Sackett Street
Brooklyn, New York
Sally Young
New York, NY
Barbara J Kline
91 3rd Place
Brooklyn, NY
Leigh Behnke
Broadway Residents Coalition
543 Broadway
anne weaver
251 7th st 7D
brooklyn, NY
E Ikharo
Margo Margolis
Broadway residents coalition
16 Crosby St
New York City, NY
Paget Walker
465 Warren Street
Brooklyn, NY
Shirley Kozliwski
115 West rd.
Groton , NY
Curt Dunnam
5244 Perry City Rd.
Trumansburg, NY
Richard Driscoll
114 Bank St
Newfield, NY York
Molly O'Brien
372 President St, APT 2R
Brooklyn, NY
Christopher Wade
372 President St, 2R
Brooklyn, NY
Kevin O'Neill
630 West 246th Street Apt 1528
Bronx, NY
Marcy Gordon
1758 Dean Street
Brooklyn, Country — USA*