The Gowanus Canal is well known for being one of the most polluted waterways in the world. That might be changing soon.
Last week, the Department of City Planning (DCP) was given the go ahead by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to continue with plans to build a new sewage overflow site along the Gowanus Canal.
Although the project still needs to go through a public hearing phase, DEP’s thumbs up is a major step towards cleaning up the polluted canal and addressing Brooklyn’s larger sewage needs.
The Gowanus Canal was designated as a federal Superfund site over ten years ago, meaning it poses an immediate environmental risk. The primary focus of the cleanup is the canal itself, which has a reputation for the toxic, tar-like sludge – nicknamed “black mayonnaise” by locals – that flows through its waters.
Additionally, the cleanup plan called for the construction of a new sewage overflow site along the canal. The Owls Head Overflow Facility would include two massive catch basins near the mouth of the canal to catch sewage that currently dumps into the canal during periods of high rain.