The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the addition of Newtown Creek, between Brooklyn and Queens, to the Superfund National Priorities List. The listing will initiate an EPA-led clean-up of the creek, beginning with a remedial investigation into the sources of contamination and an expanded search for potentially responsible parties.

The 3.8 mile-long waterway contains decades of industrial contamination. It is the second Brooklyn waterway added to the federal Superfund list this year, as the EPA designated the Gowanus Canal as a National Priorities List site in March 2010. New York City, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and local community groups all supported Newtown Creek's addition to the list. However, some have raised concerns regarding the listing's potential effect on planned developments along the creek, which include proposed affordable housing and open space.

The EPA first proposed the Newtown Creek listing a year ago, taking public comment on its plan throughout December 2009. As of July 2010, the EPA had identified six possible potentially responsible parties for the Newtown Creek contamination: BP America, Inc, Brooklyn Union Gas Company d/b/a National Grid NY, The City of New York, ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, Phelps Dodge Refining Corporation and Texaco, Inc. More potentially responsible parties are likely to be added following the listing as the EPA attempts to recover its investigation and remediation costs.

For further information on this topic please contact Daniel Riesel at Sive Paget & Riesel PC by telephone (+1 212 421 2150), fax (+1 212 421 2035) or email (driesel@sprlaw.com).

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