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SIGN THE COALITION LETTER 

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...continue

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    Gov. Hochul on Gowanus

    On Tuesday, July 18, Gov. Hochul swooped into the Gowanus community to hold a Press Conference at the building formerly known as the Batcave, now Gowanus Powerhouse Arts. 
     
    The Governor came to announce her plans to reconstitute a contrived version of the failed 421a tax exemption, a NY State developer funding program that was supposed to bring affordable housing into NYC but did the opposite. Our state legislature no longer supports the program given its failure to address the decades of growth in unaffordable housing, however, the Governor intends to implement this new action by executive order. Because as she sees it,
    "where some see neglect, I see neighborhoods. Where some see blight, I see beauty... And where some see a hell hole I see homes.youtube link
     
    Yet the process of fixing our Gowanus 'hell hole' requires careful compliance oversight by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the legacy and ongoing toxic pollution adheres to all federal and State environmental laws.

    And, by the way, thank you again to the 130 residents of our community who wrote Gov. Hochul demanding a full clean up of our toxic land to pre-disposal conditions. Please take a moment to read some of those letters here.

    Unfortunately, the Governor's response to our request for a full clean up, came in this following statement during her draconian Press Conference on Tuesday. Raising some serious concerns about her commitment to the environment.
    "I'm asking the DEC and Department of State to just, can you streamline a little bit? Do we have to really be the toughest state for doing all this? It's not necessary." Watch on youtube

    Voice of Gowanus finds this absolutely outrageous. Inappropriate and undue influence by the Governor on state agencies to look the other way on the health and safety regulations is deplorable. Our environmental laws were enacted to protect all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable communities from dire risk from flooding, polluted water, poisoned land, carcinogenic vapors, left from legacy heavy industries. 

    The Governor celebrated her attempts to circumvent health and safety and the rule of law by asserting: “When there’s a roadblock you go over here and you zig zag around. That’s what we’re very good at here.” And from that, she signed her orders and left Gowanus like a bat out of hell.

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    Advocacy by Voice Of Gowanus Prompts IG Investigation of Sewage Tank Delays

    The EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has opened an investigation into why officials at EPA Region 2 have failed to enforce the timely construction of sewage retention tanks in Gowanus. This issue is crucial because the EPA has the enforcement tools — including the full weight of the Justice Department — to impose remedies and restrictions on the City and State of New York but have nevertheless allowed the City to delay tank completion for at least a decade. 

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    Tickets on Sale for Music Activism Fundraiser!

    We are so excited for our Music Activism Fundraiser live on Tuesday May 30!   

    Yo La Tengo
    "Time keeps moving and things keep changing, but that doesn’t mean we can't fight back. Yo La Tengo have raced time for nearly four decades and, to my ears, they just keep winning. The trio’s latest victory is called This Stupid World, a spellbinding set of reflective songs that resist the ever-ticking clock. This is music that’s not so much timeless as time-defiant" by Marc Masters 
    Marc Ribot 
    "Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985's “Rain Dogs”, and since then he's become the go-to guitar person for all kinds of roots-music adventurers" in Rolling Stone
    https://www.marcribot.com/bands-projects
    Martin Bisi Collective
    Bisi is a prolific music producer who has helped develop post-Punk, No Wave and experimental culture through recordings of Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Africa Bambaataa, JG Thirlwell, Dresden Dolls and countless others
    For this event he has put together a Collective of musicians for an improvised ambient set 

    Public Records 

    Exploring culture through sound. 🔊 Unifying communities through hospitality. 👀 Respecting earth and its inhabitants.  233 Butler St. Brooklyn. Doors: 7pm

    This intimate evening of music in the Sound Room at Public Records will be a unique way to experience these artists up close.  And most importantly, your ticket purchase benefits the work of the grassroots environmental group Voice of Gowanus. We are fighting for a safe and healthy environment in Gowanus, which was an industrial dumping ground for decades and the cleanup has only just begun. The EPA and New York State both need to oversee a full cleanup for people and the environment to be safe. All funds raised from this event will help us achieve this goal by hiring the experts who can make a difference in holding these institutions accountable to environmental laws. 
     
    Support our fight for a healthy environment in Gowanus and experience some incredible live music on May 30!
     
     

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    DEC Recap On April 20th

    DEC Recap

    On April 20th, NY State held their Community Informational event. That evening that made it clear that they are incapable of listening to our community's concerns. And that they would rather "politely" coral us into one-on-one conversations rather than have an open forum. We weren't happy, in fact nobody was.
    When pressed on hard issues like "how do you make sure that nobody gets sick? Or Should we be building on toxic land, at sea level, in a climate crisis?..." Their strategy was to deflect and encourage you to talk to another table.
    Please read Brooklyn Magazine's own recap here: 
    In response to a statement in the article made by Royal Palms co-owner, Jonathan Schnapp,

    Do we appreciate being called "pseudoscientists peddling misinformation to the detriment of our community"?  No, no we do not. It's precisely why we hired experts like Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting.

    The irony is, when Joseph confronted the Executive Deputy Director of the State DEC, Sean Mahar, on his credentials as a scientist, Sean, with a minor in Biology from Siena college, argued that he knows best for Brooklyn. Watch the conversation below.

    With all due respect, Gov. Hochul, Sean doesn't cut it. We need better. We need smarter. And everyone in that room felt the same way.

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    15min Deep Dive on 514 Union St with Walter Hang

    We are thrilled to let you know that our Campaign to Clean Up the Gowanus Canal Community just received massive local, state, national and international news coverage by documenting cancer-causing toxic indoor air pollution concerns at a popular club located at 514 Union Street, Brooklyn.  Our powerful new campaign is a joint effort with Toxic Targeting, an environmental data firm.

    Beginning in March 2021, State health and environmental authorities knew highly toxic trichloroethylene contamination was detected in indoor air at more than 20 times the Department of Health protection guideline of two micrograms/cubic meter.  State authorities never alerted the public about the problem for nearly two years until VOG and Toxics Targeting broke the scandalous story on March 9th.

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    Call to Action: Call Hochul!

    We need your action today! 

    Listen to us on WNYC today and read the story in Gothamist!

    Then please call Hochul's office: (518) 474 - 8390

    Please, identify yourself as a Gowanus resident. Complain that you were never alerted to the problems at 514 Union St, Royal Palms Shuffleboard.

    Explain why it's important to the health and safety of our residents as well as their patrons and employees. Explain and why you care!

    Please DEMAND that we need Gov. Hochul to comprehensively clean up 514 Union Street and all the other massively polluted toxic sites in Gowanus!

    Current DEC cleanup efforts are pathetically bad and unacceptable. We cannot allow housing development on toxic sites. We must fully remediate before redevelopment!

    Hochul must enforce the law to protect public health. 514 Union Street needs to be remediated to "pre-disposal" conditions.

     

    Again the number to Hochul's office is:

    (518) 474 - 8390

     

    Listen to us on WNYC

    https://www.wnyc.org/story/toxic-fumes-detected-popular-brooklyn-shuffleboard-club-past-2-years/

    Read the story

    https://gothamist.com/news/toxic-fumes-detected-at-popular-brooklyn-shuffleboard-club-for-past-2-years

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    NYS DEC's Royal F Up featured on Gothamist

     

    Please read today's lead story on Gothamist. "Toxic fumes detected at popular Brooklyn shuffleboard club for past 2 years"

    FOR TWO YEARS the State's DEC knew that the ground under Royal Palms was toxic and that people were being exposed to 10,000 times the allowable amount of cancer causing gas vapors. And what did they do about it? They claim to have shared it in their newsletter. That's it. How is this protecting our health and safety? How are we supposed to trust that our State Agencies are looking out for the public's best interest when this is how they behave? 

    Toxic sites must not be redeveloped until they are comprehensively cleaned up and restored to pre-disposal conditions as required by NYS law!

    Read it now.

     

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    Walter Hang interview on WBAI Feb 8th 2023

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    Public Comment regarding 514 Union St

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