It was once called “The Lavender Lake”. Sounds like a nice place to go right? Nah, it wasn’t. The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York was so named by the locals because it was so polluted with lavender tinged industrial waste.
After decades of all kinds of industrial wastes from coal tar, oil refineries, tanneries and chemical plants, raw sewage, heavy metals the Gowanus Canal is now in a federal clean up program.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has declared the site a Superfund. This is a program created in 1980 that gives the EPA the authority to clean up the most hazardous sites in the nation, force the local polluters to clean the site or face stiff penalties including paying the EPA 3 times their cost to clean up the site. It also means the site has a shot at a thorough and comprehensive clean up. If not pollution of the groundwater and in the area can leech into places that can still make people sick. Continue reading