The long-awaited cleanup of the Gowanus Canal officially has a start date. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday issued an administrative order requiring the start of the first phase of the project, 10 years after the agency declared it a Superfund site. Expected to begin in September and take 30 months to complete, the $125 million project covers the cleanup of the upper canal and the 1st Street turning basin and involves “full-scale dredging,” according to the agency.
Environmental Protection Agency
Since taking office, Donald Trump and his administration have been proposing cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would decrease funding for the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal. Declared a federal Superfund site in 2010, the Canal has a major issue with combined sewer overflow (CSO), which occurs when heavy rainfall overtaxes the sewer system and causes stormwater runoff and wastewater to empty into the waterway. As Brooklyn Eagle reports, the city’s proposal to mitigate this issue was to “replace two [CSO] retention tanks holding 8 and 4 million gallons with a 16 million-gallon CSO tunnel running beneath the upper portion of the canal.” However, in a letter obtained by the Eagle, Trump EPA appointee Pete Lopez said that they would instead install two large retention tanks along the Canal walls.
Waterfront Alliance’s ‘Harbor Scorecard’ says if your NYC neighborhood is at risk for severe flooding, Fri, June 2, 2017
This week marked the beginning of hurricane season and experts predict storms will be worse than usual, especially following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord on Thursday. To better inform New Yorkers about the risks of rising sea level and storm surges, the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect waterfronts, released a Harbor Scorecard, as reported by the Brooklyn Eagle. The interactive scorecard lets users view each neighborhood by its waterfront safety and coastal resiliency. The group found that more than 400,000 New Yorkers face a 50 percent risk of a major flood by 2060.
Smog covering the Empire State Building. New York, NY, US, November 21, 1953, LIFE Magazine.
Over Thanksgiving weekend in 1966, the layer of smog that hung above New York City killed about 200 people. An estimated 300–405 people died during a two-week smog episode in 1963. In 1953, as many as 260 died from breathing the city’s air over a six-day stretch.
6sqft reported recently on Donald Trump’s proposed budget and subsequent concerns about the impact significant funding cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency totaling $2.6 billion or 31 percent–including staff reductions and program eliminations–might have on the city’s drinking water and air quality. A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio assured us that these federal cuts won’t impact NYC’s high quality water supply. But what about the air?