Thanks to a rushed rezoning process, this community is looking at years of noise and disruption alongside a Superfund remediation. We need assurance that the land, water, and air are clean before development begins. Instead, our elected officials have undermined the health and safety of our residents as well as put our existing housing infrastructure around these sites at risk of collateral damage.
Driving pilings through toxic contamination, as exist the Brownfield and former MGP sites surrounding the Canal, can create pathways for those toxins to enter the air and the water surrounding the area, as shown here.
Real Estate sharks are rushing to begin work on their foundations before June 15th, when the 421-a Tax Credit is slated to expire. In their haste, they are putting the community at risk. The pile driving on the Public Place site in particular is of grave concern since the environmental clean-up of this Brownfield has not yet been signed off by the US Environmental Protection Agency. When reached via email, the EPA stated that it had not been informed of the pile driving and was "concerned".
What’s most concerning is that the former Citizens Gas Works plant (Public Place) is known to have pockets of coal tar pollution 100–150 feet below ground, which will remain even after the Brownfield clean-up. This means that the 80–90 foot piles that are currently being driven deep into the ground may create vapor shafts for toxic gasses that are released into the surrounding area including a public park, the ISB school and St. Mary’s church.
Since we cannot be sure that all safety regulations are being followed, since permits are being issued for sites that have not yet been fully environmentally remediated, we are demanding an immediate Temporary Restraining Order on ALL pile driving in the Gowanus rezone area.
Please, sign your name to this petition now and demand a strategy that does no harm.