Using Toxic Gowanus Sludge to Expand Brooklyn’s Waterfront

11.29.12 Andy Cush

Brooklyn concrete mogul John Quadrozzi has an unusual proposition for storing the toxic sludge that the EPA will dredge out of the Gowanus Canal Superfund site: shipping it to his Red Hook waterfront property and dumping it into the Gowanus Bay, expanding his shipping terminal and creating new land he can rent to other businesses.

As you might imagine, this plan has raised a lot of questions, many of which, “from who would pay for which parts of the project, to what exactly will be dredged from the canal, to where the sludge will be shipped, how it will be treated, and whether Quadrozzi can even legally expand his terminal — have not been addressed,” according to DNAinfo.

If carried out, the plan would be a huge boon for Quadrozzi. In addition to the money he’d make on the larger terminal and property rentals, he’d also stand to see a seven-digit sum from the EPA simply for storing the toxic waste. And it could also benefit the community in the way of 50 to 100 new jobs, with priority hiring status given to Red Hook residents.

In the past, local regulations have prevented developers from altering the waterfront in such a sweeping way, but the intervention of the federal government via the canal’s EPA Superfund status may allow Quadrozzi to skirt some red tape.

(Photo: Joseph/Flickr)