Pro Gowanus Canal Superfund

The ‘debate’ against the Gowanus Superfund designation is clearly a small group of industrial land owners and developers who by their very profession are extremely knowledgeable in how to talk real estate with city hall. Because of this they have a disproportionate say in the Gowanus Superfund matter.

Meanwhile the normal citizen, who might barely know where city hall is, has absolutely no say in comparison.

If you didn’t know this you’d almost think there was a democratic debate going on here on the merits of the Superfund for the community.

But that is absolutely not true. The developers have full time paid professional advocates whose sole job is to lobby Brooklyn city hall in the interest of the developers. They have very well funded public relations budgets. They have deep pockets to influence other land owners and pivotal people in the area.

That is not democracy. That is capitalism at its most debase.

Despite this huge machine of capitalist self interest there is a very loud grass roots counter voice clearly speaking for the larger community that steadfastly wants the Superfund designation.

So which is more valid, the facade of a community interest group behind which are a small handful of profiteering self satisfying manipulators or the very genuine voices of local residents who have nothing to gain but a healthier community.

Don’t let the hype fool you. Clear and simple, the educated Carroll Gardens residents want the Superfund designation. A small group of land owners and developers don’t. Who’s community is this, the developers’ or the residents? There is only one morally correct answer: the residents.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

3 comments to “Pro Gowanus Canal Superfund”

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  1. Gennaro Brooks-Church - July 6, 2009 at 8:49 am

    PS. GowanusResident what is your real name? I prefer transparency. We are all citizens in a small community so we should know who is who.

  2. Gennaro Brooks-Church - July 6, 2009 at 8:47 am

    There are a lot of people for the designation and I am not sure what their reasons are.

    I own two residences within a block of the Gowanus and can share my reason for being pro Superfund.

    Firstly who created the mess in the first place? Not residents but the land owners and businesses along the canal. Maybe not the current ones but either way there was a drastic lack of caring that allowed this to happen. I think the land owners and businesses along the canal should bear the brunt of that. Clearly they did a bad job at policing each other.

    The prices might go down but they should. The current unreasonably elevated prices do not reflect the fact that the Gowanus is a shit heap. We’ve all been happily ignoring this.

    Bottom line, if you bought along the canal or are a business along the canal then you made a poor investment. I feel for you, but it was irrational to think you could ignore the blaring fact that you set up shop or bought next to a toxic sludge pond.

    Anyone against the Superfund wants to continue with their head in the sand trying to pass the buck to the next poor sucker who buys into the stack of cards.

    We need to stop passing the buck and finally take responsibility for our parent’s really stupid decisions. We also need to stop making them ourselves.

    I am fine with my property values going down. I see it as a worthwhile investment into the long term health of the community.

    There will be a day when we can swim in the canal. Then the property values will go up considerably. It is worth it.

    And the EPA, although in my opinion a pretty useless organization, is the best for this job. They have a dubious track record and yes some Superfund sites are a real fiasco but I think they will do a better job than the alternative.

    Why in the world would we trust the city to do it? The city allowed the toxic dump to occur in the first place and they have made no effort to remediate it since then. The only remediation they have done was mandatory.

    The problem here is that everyone along the canal has big dollar signs in their eyes. They see all these developers with huge wads of cash. It is a fantasy. The canal is a mess and we need to stop ignoring it.

    don’t let the money blind you into doing what is right for the community. Once the site is cleaned up then you can get your well deserved money from developers who will build conscientiously.

    But the current set of developers are more of the same old crap. They are money hungry idiots without any care for the real community or ecology of the area.

  3. GowanusResident. - July 6, 2009 at 5:16 am

    I am a land owner in the gowanus area, and maybe I could explain some reasons why I am anti-Superfund, First off, my taxes have gone up and my property value will surely decrease, Some of my tenants have businesses that they would not want to keep on a “superfund” site. I am not a big developer,and yes I do feel the canal needs to be cleaned, but if we could avoid all this stigma from the superfund name, why wouldnt we?..No matter who takes it, a question of funds is still there..?..seems to me these residents have just as much of an agenda as these big developers do,these people do not want progress or growth in there community,..

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