Long-serving as an environmental dumping ground, Greenpoint has new cause for celebration — The EPA just added the Meeker Avenue Plume to their list of National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
“The Meeker Avenue Plume site consists of contaminated soil and groundwater containing chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs), including tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), and vinyl chloride” says the EPA’s website.
The plume spans several city blocks of the Greenpoint/East Williamsburg area. Though it has been studied by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation [DEC] since 2007, after its initial discovery during the cleanup of an ExxonMobil plume, this decision means that the plume will finally be addressed at the federal level, now under the jurisdiction of the EPA.
The business or businesses that caused the pollution are responsible for paying for the Superfund site cleanup. “The DEC has tracked down some of the former businesses that were responsible for dumping chemicals here, which include dry cleaners, a steel drum company, a brass foundry, and a soap and lacquer manufacturer,” Gothamist reports.
This decision comes on the heels of Congress passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act which allocates $3.5 billion for Superfund sites across the country. The Meeker Avenue Plume will be New York City’s fourth Superfund site, joining Newtown Creek, Gowanus Canal, and the Wolf-Alport Chemical Company in Queens.
The remediation process can take years, even decades. Hopefully, these developments ensure that progress occurs sooner rather than later.