Superfund gets to work on risky NY-area waterways

New York /
Aug.August 14, 2012 10:00 AM

The federal Superfund program is preparing to take on its biggest challenges in its three decades of existence: cleaning urban waterways. Most of these sites are in New York and New Jersey, the states with the most Superfund-eligible sites, and include the Passaic River in New Jersey, the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, Newton Creek on the Brooklyn-Queens border and the final section of the Hudson River.

The New York Times revisited the program in a lengthy profile, noting that it has been controversial since its founding amid the Reagan administration in 1981 and is still panned on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website as being “slow, ineffective [and] very expensive.”

Those critiques seemed appropriate in the 1990s, when, in one of the earliest Superfund projects, the Environmental Protection Agency tried to remove industrial wastes from about 15 acres across two channels off San Francisco Bay — only to stir up the waste and pollute fish to the point that they are still deemed unsafe to eat.

Water cleanup technology has improved of late, and the $561 million cleansing of the of the Hudson River has been more successful than the San Francisco project was, although it too has pushed additional pollutants downstream, albeit temporarily.

“Dredging has advanced a lot, but it’s still not an exact science,” said Raymond Besso, who’s heading the Passaic River cleanup. [NYT] — Adam Fusfeld


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
A photo illustration of 51-53 East 73rd St, 300 De Witt Ave, 137 Bayard Street and 3044 Coney Island Ave (LoopNet, Rosewood Realty Group/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Ten mid-market investment sales to start your day
Ten mid-market investment sales to start your day
Tavros, Charney pick up Gowanus dev site for $102M
Tavros, Charney pick up Gowanus dev site for $102M
Tavros, Charney pick up Gowanus dev site for $102M
From left: Andrew Cuomo, Eric Adams, Bill de Blasio and Kathy Hochul
These were NYC’s top real estate stories of 2021
These were NYC’s top real estate stories of 2021
RXR Realty's Scott Rechler (Getty)
RXR, LBA Logistics lead filing flurry with $123M for massive Gowanus industrial portfolio
RXR, LBA Logistics lead filing flurry with $123M for massive Gowanus industrial portfolio
Three Gowanus projects lead spate of new development filings
Three Gowanus projects lead spate of new development filings
Three Gowanus projects lead spate of new development filings
 356 Fulton Street in Brooklyn and Feil Organization CEO Jeffrey Feil (Google Maps)
Biggest project filings: Developers propose 1,500 apartments in Gowanus
Biggest project filings: Developers propose 1,500 apartments in Gowanus
Interactive Map of Projects Planned Under Gowanus Rezoning
Here they come: Map shows projects planned in rezoned Gowanus
Here they come: Map shows projects planned in rezoned Gowanus
City Council greenlights Gowanus, Blood Center rezonings
City Council greenlights Gowanus, Blood Center rezonings
City Council greenlights Gowanus, Blood Center rezonings
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...