Walk down Van Brunt Street, the main commercial drag of Red Hook’s waterfront, and the signs are unavoidable–in nearly every shop and restaurant window, a bright yellow poster imploring the Environmental Protection Agency to “Say no to a toxic Red Hook.” They’re advocating against a plan that would have EPA workers dredging toxic sludge from the bottom of the polluted Gowanus Canal and using it to literally build new land on the Red Hook waterfront.
The EPA assures that the sludge would be fully decontaminated, but residents have worries about the decontamination plant, and have set up an online petition to air their concerns before the final Gowanus cleanup plan is released this summer. “This is almost the worst thing I can imagine for this neighborhood,” said Carly Yates, one of the founders of the group, dubbed No Toxic Red Hook. “It’s disturbing — I don’t think that I can raise my daughter here if it were to be built.”
(Photo: Barry Yanowitz/Flickr)