Sections

The Double-D pool might be doomed if the city does not act soon, but activists say they know just where to put the unwanted cesspool

Lightbulb! Gowanus residents say Con Ed holds the key to saving park from tank invasion

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Gowanus residents are demanding that the federal government save a beloved park by moving a sewage tank it wants to bury beneath the green space to a privately-owned lot just a few blocks away.

The feds have said that they will install a four- or eight-million-gallon tank beneath the Douglass and DeGraw Pool and neighboring Thomas Greene Playground as part of the federally-mandated clean-up of the Gowanus Canal unless the city comes up with an alternative site by next August and park lovers say that a vacant lot at the corner of Nevins and Butler streets that is owned by energy giant Con Ed would make a perfect one.

“It’s an absolute empty lot that’s even closer to the canal than our park is,” said Sue Wolfe, president of Friends of Douglass Greene Pool.

The Environmental Protection Agency said that it would not comment until seeing a formal proposal from the city, which so far has balked at paying for the tanks and much of the rest of the federal Superfund scrubbing despite a federal mandate. That resistance has come primarily from the office of Mayor Bloomberg and it is unclear if it will continue under Mayor-elect Bill DeBlasio, who opposed the Superfund designation as a Park Slope councilman.

But a local politician said that wherever the tanks end up, saving the park and pool that serve Brownstone Brooklyn and at least three public housing developments should be top priority.

“Whether it be at the Con Ed site or somewhere else, it is important that an alternative location for the retention tanks is found so that the Double D Pool can stay open,” Councilman Levin said.

The planned tank is one of two $78-million underground containers meant to catch sewage that wells up in the area’s antiquated sewer system when it rains and keep the muck from spilling into the polluted waterway.

The other tank is bound for a city-owned lot on Second Avenue between Fifth Street and the canal that the city uses to store salt and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy gardens in. The conservancy says it is resigned to relocating its office, compost gear, plant nursery, and storage —and put a hold on expansion plans — when the feds come knocking.

“It’s not a bad thing for us,” Gowanus Canal Conservancy program manager Natasha Sidarta said.

The feds have also promised to provide temporary digs for the displaced pool and playground, but park partisans say that there can be no substitute for the real thing.

Con Edison did not respond to repeated requests for comment about whether it would consider donating the weedy lot.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Ezra from Park Slope says:
the problem w journalism now in nyc is that the local papers churn out reporters from everywhere but NYC who allow 'local politicans like Councilman Levin' a free pass. when was the last time this paper bothered to uncover a scandal instead of following the latest nude cupcake art show bbq bocce gallery park opening?
Nov. 25, 2013, 7:50 am
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
"saving the park and pool that serve Brownstone Brooklyn and at least three public housing developments should be top priority."

... you go to love it when people use the poor as a prop to make their case.
Nov. 25, 2013, 10:56 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.