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: 1170

Mona Chiniwala
230A 6th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Libe Ackerman
505 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY
ellie lobovits
Brooklyn , NY
Diane Himmelbaum
Retired Professor, St. John's University ( Art Department)
Park Slope Windsor Terrace Artists
380 9th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11215, NY
Jean Standish
308 East 6th Street, Apt. 6
NY, NY
June & Greg Crane
177 13th Street
Brooklyn , New York
Ann Kaminski
4744 ROUTE 8
, NY
Jocelyne Rojas
143 Nelson St
Brooklyn, New York
Alison Muney
67 16th Street
Brooklyn, NY, NY
Sara Kimbell
Self Employed
708 Greenwich St, 2A, New York
New York, NY
Livvie Mann
rise and resist
12 Bedford St
New York, NY
Jennifer Hoppe
District Leader 66th Part A
Village Independent Democrats
218 E. 14th St. Apt. 3F
New York, NY
Linda Jacobson
60 East 8th Street
New York, NY
Karin Shipsky
5400 Fieldston Road
Bronx, NY
Laura Kane
The Wednesday Group
17 E 16 St, apt 9
New York , Ny
Michael Phillips
199 Kane st. Brooklyn, NY
BROOKLYN, NY
Alice Matlock
85 3rd Street, Apt C
Brooklyn, NY
Jean Schneider
675 Degraw St.
Brooklyn, NY
Ben Kessin
Brooklyn, NY
Jordan Boaz
248 Duffield St 3J
Brooklyn, NY
Ziggy Le vin
Brooklyn , New York
Tristan Judice
Brooklyn, NY
samantha asher
356 Union Street
BROOKLYN, NY
Trevor Nathan
356 union st
Brooklyn, NY
Emily Singer
Susan Yeager
505 Court st
Brooklyn , NY
Rima Bakhru
Owner
Brooklyn Vision Therapy
179 8th Street 2R
Brooklyn, NY
Zachary Hendrickson
Brooklyn, NY
Maurice Geisinger
Lower Seaman Tenants Association
17 Seaman Avenue
New York, NY
Elizabeth Townley
Voice of Gowanus
184 Nelson St #3
Brooklyn , NY
Anthony Barbera
207 Huntington Street
Brooklyn, New York
Lena Johnson
207 Huntington Street
Brooklyn, NY
Chloe Finch
70 Sherman Street, Apt 2
Brooklyn, NY
susan Lange
193 Luquer St.
Brooklyn, NY
Lindsey Morfin
465 Carroll st
Brooklyn, Ny
Danielle Knappenberger
Anita Haravon
NANCY Hirsch
26 Strong Place, 2
Brooklyn, NY
Taylor Loutsis
Founder
Studio Loutsis
56 second Ave, st 5
Brooklyn, NY
Caitlin Daniele
Real Estate Board of NY
200 16th Street
Brooklyn, NY
Gwendolyn Gussman
231 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY
William Chu
287 Third Ave, Apt 2L
Brooklyn, NY
Jackie Filson
n/a
488 President Street
Brooklyn, New York
Sierra Ottaviano
10 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY
Chelsey Saatkamp
575 Hicks St
Brooklyn , NY
Emily Greenberger
NYU
406 15TH STREET, 4E
BROOKLYN, NY
Marie Frei
Brooklyn, NY
Cheryl Frank
President
colorbrightongreen.org
829 Winton Road South
Rochester, New York

Pages