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.

Indoor air contamination concerns were mitigated with a venting system installed last fall, but trichloroethylene is still being detected in indoor air, albeit at levels below the DOH indoor air guideline.  This proves the venting system is not 100% effective at eliminating cancer-causing trichloroethylene from the indoor air.

Shockingly, the Department of Environmental Conservation still has no plans to require remediation of 514 Union Street or an adjoining toxic polluted Brownfield site at 473 President Street in strict compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements, notably the legal mandate to restore these sites to "pre-disposal conditions.  Indoor air contamination was reportedly documented at 473 President Street in 2015.

VOG initially received 514 Union Street coverage on Gothamist.  Then we received amazing coverage on WNYC, CBS TV news and in The New York Post.  See below.

Take Urgent Action Today: Call and Write Governor Hochul

Please call Governor Hochul during office hours at 518 474 8390 to request that she require 514 Union Street and 473 President Street to be cleaned up on a comprehensive basis to "pre-disposal" conditions.

If you frequented the club, voice your health concerns, especially if you are or were pregnant, are a cancer survivor or suffer from other serious health ailments.  Make good arguments.  Please call and keep calling.  Do Not Stop Until You Drop.

Our short video explains how you can be a powerful voice for comprehensive toxic cleanups:


Do not just share your concerns or complaints.  Please echo our request that the Governor require all toxic sites in the Gowanus Canal Community to achieve "pre-disposal" conditions cleanups.  Cite the facts, figures, regulatory requirements, etc. spelled out in our coalition letter and 514 Union Street comments.  Finally, promise to hold the Governor accountable if she does provide a favorable reply. 

Keep cranking up the heat.  The name of the game is bringing maximum public pressure to bear.  One activist calling the Governor is good.  Ten activists calling is a quantum jump.  One hundred activists hammering away day after day and tying the Governor's switchboard into the Gordian Knot can achieve serious political heavy lifting to safeguard public health.

These are our public comments about the failure to remediate contamination at 514 Union Street: Please Do Not Adopt the Fatally Flawed Proposed "expedited cleanup of contamination at 514 Union Street," Brownfield Site # C224318