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EPA Announces Plan to Clean Polluted Brooklyn Canal

by Kelsey Schappell
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Kelsey Schappell, WFUV

The EPA says Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal is one of the most polluted waterways in the country.

Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal will no longer be a smelly, murky, wasteland. 

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday its plans to begin cleaning up the waterway. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has high hopes that the project will bring life back to the neighborhood. 

"I dream of a future where we see families line up to take a boat ride in Brooklyn's very own Venice. And I say, why not?" said Markowitz.

The Gowanus Canal was dug over 150 years ago, and pollution from large factories has left the water toxic.

The EPA's plan to fix it comes in two parts. First, it will remove contaminated soil and sediments from the canal. Then, it will add retention tanks to prevent sewage and other polluted water from re-entering it.

New York State Assemblywoman Joan Millman said the clean-up may allow to the canal to shake its not-so-pleasant nickname.

"Finally, we are closer to having a clean canal that will no longer bear the title of 'Lavender Lake,'" Millman said.

According to the EPA, hundrends of local jobs will be added for the project, which the agency predicts will take about 10 years and cost $506 million. 

The clean-up will begin in 2015. 

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