Rep. Maloney Statement on Superfund Designation for Newtown Creek

Sep 27, 2010
Press Release
Queens, NY – Today, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) hailed the decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate Newtown Creek as a Superfund site. This designation will allow the EPA to conduct extensive testing to determine the nature and extent of pollution in the creek and to formulate a plan to clean it up.

Since the mid-1800s, the shores of Newtown Creek have been home to industries that spewed a staggering array of pollutants into the creek. The EPA reports that potentially-responsible parties include major oil companies, such as BP America, ExxonMobil, and Texaco, which will pay the lion’s share of the cleanup costs.

“For generations, Newtown Creek has been one of the most polluted waterways in the country,” said Rep. Maloney. “I am grateful that the EPA has designated Newtown Creek as a Superfund site, so we can begin the process of cleaning up this long-ailing body of water. Restoring the health of Newtown Creek will give residents of western Queens improved access to the waterfront and make the neighborhood a safer place to live. I am also heartened by reports that the costs of the cleanup are expected to be borne by large corporations, rather than by small businesses in the neighborhood.”

Congress established the Superfund Program to locate, investigate, and clean up the most hazardous sites nationwide.

According to tests the EPA has already conducted at Newtown Creek, “potentially harmful contaminants such as pesticides, metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been detected in Newtown Creek along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are potentially harmful contaminants that can easily evaporate into the air.”