As  the New York Times reported last week, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to add the Gowanus Canal to its list of Superfund sites.  If the canal, one of the most polluted bodies of water in New York, does get Superfund designation, the EPA will attempt to track down polluters and force them to pay for the cleanup.  If said polluters can’t be found (a likely scenario since many companies that polluted the canal with everything from pesticides, to coal tar, metals, oil, and even gonorrhea left the area long ago), the federal government will fund the cleanup.

According to an EPA representative who spoke to the Times, most proposed Superfund sites are eventually listed, depending on the results of the 60-day public comment period, which began for the canal on Thursday.  The potential listing has already sparked controversy in the neighborhood, with developer Toll Brothers stating that they would not move forward with their planned development in Gowanus if the canal is officially designated.

Tomorrow night, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will host a Public Information Forum on the Gowanus Canal Superfund nomination:

When: 7pm, Tuesday April 14

Where: PS 32 Auditorium 317 Hoyt Street (between Union & President Streets)

You may also submit your comments online (note: this was incredibly difficult to find!) or via email. (Note Docket #EPA-HQ-SFUND-2009-0063).