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Rep. Clarke’s Statement on EPA’s Decision to Place the Gowanus Canal on Superfund List

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has placed the Gowanus Canal on the Superfund National Priorities List.

“I am glad a decision has been reached on this issue and hope that greater oversight of the cleanup process can be exercised with the Superfund designation,” said Rep. Clarke.

On April 8th 2009, the EPA announced a proposed listing of the Gowanus Canal on the Superfund National Priority List. This announcement torched a very spirited discussion, which resulted in Rep. Clarke holding and attending several meetings with advocates on all sides of the superfund issue.

“I am deeply committed to the cleanup of this contaminated canal. Throughout the Superfund proposed rule public comment period, I met with city, state and federal agency representatives, as well as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding the proposed rule. I also met with Gowanus area residents, community organizations, and the small business community,” stated Rep. Clarke. “I greatly appreciate the dedication of all those who took time from their busy schedules and submitted comments as well as attended public information forums to express their views on the Superfund proposal.”

“I am aware that some constituents did not agree and have very serious reservations with the Superfund designation of the Gowanus Canal. I will continue to work with residents to address these concerns as we move forward. I look forward to working with the relevant stakeholders and other elected officials to ensure that there is transparency in this process and that all concerned parties, especially residents, are included,” added Rep. Clarke.

“As the Representative of the 11th Congressional District, I will be working to ensure that the Superfund plan best serves the communities surrounding the canal. The Superfund cleanup has estimated a timeline of 10-12 years and I will continue to work with the community, the EPA, and my counterparts in government to ensure that the Gowanus Canal is cleaned up as thoroughly and quickly as possible,” concluded Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.