Thursday, November 08, 2007

Toxic Public Place Site Getting Drilled

Public Place Clean Up

We have previously reported activity in the last week on the heavily polluted Public Place site between Smith Street and the Gowanus Canal. Vegetation has been cut and barrels often used for the storage of hazardous and non-hazardous waste have been scattered around the property. Yesterday, we spotted a drilling rig and a work crew on the land from the F Train as it made the sweeping turn from the Smith-9th Street Station to the Carroll Street stop. (Our apologies for the lack of photo as we couldn't get to it and shoot a pic in time.) It's safe to assume the crew was taking soil samples from the site, where toxins left behind by a manufactured gas plant are believed to run as deep as 150 feet. While development of the site is still in the future, the soil samples would be a prerequisite for crafting a cleanup plan for the site, which presents a host of environmental issues. In the meantime, the Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG) group is speaking out against development of the site for housing, saying that an agreement dating to the 1970s designated the land for recreational use and that the city should not even have put out RFPs without a public hearing. A developer is expected to be announced next month.

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