Some heartwarming news from Adam Pasick at New York Magazine…
If Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge is as big as projected, the fetid Gowanus canal may overflow and flood low-lying areas of Brooklyn with a foul-smelling and poisonous mixture of chemicals and crap:
If Sandy hits with sufficient force, a flood of the human waste quaintly known as combined sewer overflow (CSO) is almost a certainty. What is less certain is how much of the heavier, more dangerous contaminants will be churned up by the storm surge and heavy winds and deposited by the flood waters. There is a worrying precedent in Hurricane Katrina, which inundated several Superfund sites such as the Agriculture Street Landfill. Like the Gowanus Canal, the landfill had accumulated decades worth of various pollutants, and after Katrina the area around the landfill showed “disturbingly high” levels of cancer-causing chemicals from soot and petroleum-based products. Those are known as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and EPA testing has confirmed high levels of them in the Gowanus Canal, the result of oil and coal refinery runoff a hundred years ago.
Brooklyn residents will no doubt want to read the rest of the details at New York Magazine >
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