Residents Near Brooklyn Enviro Cleanup Fear 'Cure Is Worse Than the Disease'

Residents living near Brooklyn's toxic Gowanus Canal are fighting the E.P.A.'s $500 million environmental cleanup effort over disagreement with the methods proposed by the agency. Will their opposition thwart the long-sought remediation.
May 7, 2013, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Most residents who live in proximity to Brooklyn's heavily polluted Gowanus can agree on one fundamental thing: "They want the canal purged of pollutants like PCBs, lead, mercury and raw sewage..." But, as Joseph Berger reports, two neighborhood groups are fighting the Environmental Protection Agency's plans for how to accomplish that task. 

"One neighborhood fears that the sludge taken out from the canal would poison the air over their ball fields, and others worry that the location of a sewage-processing site needed for the cleanup would destroy a beloved swimming pool."

"The disputes illustrate a predicament that often crops up in environmental remediation: those affected see the cure as worse than the disease."

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Published on Sunday, May 5, 2013 in The New York Times
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