Pre-Gowanus Green, They're Really Digging Public Place
After last last week's excitement about the selection of the Hudson Companies to develop the toxic Public Place site as Gowanus Green, we swung by to check on the progress of pre-cleanup work there. Concrete is being dug up and removed from the site, leading to neighborhood concerns about what will happen if/when contaminants are disturbed and the kind of monitoring that will occur. Significant digging has been going on at the site to remove huge blocks of concrete left over from its previous incarnation as a manufactured gas plant. The city says that this phase of work on the site doesn't pose a threat to public health or to nearby residents. One resident told us that residents of streets like Luquer, Huntington and Third and Fourth Place are "breathing in the dust there every day that is being stirred up." Unconnected to Public Place, a resident told us that soil testing behind some Carroll Gardens homes has found "high amounts of lead and arsenic." The Public Place cleanup is supposed to involve wetting down soil to keep dust down. Tents will be placed over areas where contaminated soil is being removed. The site is so polluted, however, that only some of the toxins will be removed. The rest will be left in place and covered with a foundation and protective membrane, a process known as "capping."