Bloggers “Found In Brooklyn” and “Pardon Me For Asking” attended and reported on the first ever meeting of the Gowanus CAG meeting on Oct 26th, and while huge hurdles and a long long road lay ahead for the CAG, both bloggers express a sense of optimism concerning the CAG if not the for the timetable of the whole cleanup process.
First, the frightening facts: the “toxic sediment” which is what earned Gowanus the Superfund designation, is “up to five feet high in some places” and is measured in “parts per hundred, instead of parts per trillion, making the Gowanus one of the most toxic bodies of water in America.”
The Gowanus has a great deal of supporters, however, which was made clear by the high turnout (see photos of the event here and here). The CAG is made of 57 members representing a widerange of view points, including some that are “anti-superfund” and others that petitioned strongly for the designation.
The beginning phases of the clean up are underway, which is to say the “figure out what we need to do” phase, and an actual plan to deal with the canal will not be complete until approximabtly 2012, even though the whole process is in fact ahead of schedule at this point.
When asked if the canal will ever be “swimmable and fishable,” PMFA reports that Walter Mugden, the Director of the Superfund Program for the US Department for Environmental Protection’s Region 2 replied “Not in our lifetime, but the risks can be significantly reduced.”
For more detailed coverage of the meetings, read FIB and PMFA’s articles.