Greenpoint and Williamsburg have a quarter of NYC’s contaminated sites

August 6, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Chris Swain has swum some of America’s most toxic waterways, including the Gowanus Canal three times. Yet out of all of his plunges, Newtown Creek was the most horrifying, he said. Photo courtesy of Chris Swain
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Greenpoint and Williamsburg together make up a quarter of the contaminated development sites that have participated in the city’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, according to a new report from the NYU Furman Center. This is followed by Chelsea (8 percent), Astoria (8 percent) and two more Brooklyn neighborhoods – Bedford-Stuyvesant (7 percent) and Fort Greene-Brooklyn Heights (6 percent), reported the Commercial Observer

More than 85 percent of the remediated sites were located in neighborhoods that were rezoned from 2002 to 2016, and the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront fits into this category. Greenpoint-Williamsburg is one of the many areas rezoned under the Bloomberg administration and were former industrial havens, the Commercial Observer reported.

In addition, five of the 10 neighborhoods on the most-contaminated-sites list also were on the Furman Center’s 2016 ranking of gentrifying neighborhoods: Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Astoria, Morrisania, Mott Haven and Bed-Stuy. As of July 2016, cleanups have been completed at 200 sites citywide, according to the center’s analysis. The program is well-utilized and relatively easy to navigate, the Commercial Observer said.

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