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October 16, 2009

Velázquez Urges Superfund Designation for Gowanus, Newtown

Says EPA Has Resources, Expertise to Clean Up Polluted Waterways

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) issued the following statement today urging the Environmental Protection Agency to complete its review and designate the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek as federal Superfund sites:

“Securing a healthy environment for New York City families is the single most important factor in choosing a course of action for cleaning both the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. Superfund designation will thoroughly remove hazards and transform these waterways into a source of pride for our community.

“Among the most contaminated sites in the country, the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek have threatened the health of New Yorkers for long enough and kept these neighborhoods from realizing their full potential.  With nearly three decades of experience, the EPA has the expertise and resources to carry out a comprehensive remediation of these sites, creating a safe place for New Yorkers to live and work. Through the EPA’s help, these local treasures will become a revitalized waterfront for the people of Brooklyn.

“The Superfund program establishes an equitable process for restoring accountability and invigorating the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. What we have before us is a means to fully protect the well being of New Yorkers, as well as ensure future growth and responsible development in our neighborhoods.

“Efforts to transform Brooklyn’s waterfront have brought the community together and have resulted in the many innovative projects underway.  Superfund designation will complement these efforts. By working together we will fully restore both the functionality and beauty of these sites.”