Petitioning Administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office Judith A. Enck

Controlling raw sewage should NOT mean a raw deal for our neighborhood! EPA make the polluters pay, not our community, save the Double "D" pool!

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan for the Superfund cleanup of the Gowanus Canal, the EPA proposed to close a much loved community resource, the “Double D” community pool, for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to excavate and build a 2 to 17 million gallon raw sewage holding tank beneath it.

The Double D pool serves nearby public housing and neighborhood residents during the summer season, and provides free swimming lessons, and free breakfast and lunch are served while school is out. It also serves as a cooling center during heat waves and has a unique toddler pool which our youngest residents enjoy.

While Friends of Douglass Greene Park (FODGP) support a comprehensive Superfund cleanup of the Gowanus Canal, we also insist that Superfund follow its own principles and make the polluters pay, not our community!

For these reasons, we, the undersigned, strongly oppose the EPA’s proposed placement of a raw sewage retention tank to be built beneath the Douglass and Degraw (Double D) community pool and request that the alternative location for the proposed raw sewage retention tank be selected.

We also ask for guarantees to our community that any displacement or disruption to the Thomas Greene Park and Double D Pool as a result of the EPA Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup and the forthcoming Department of Enivironmental Conservation (DEC) former Fulton Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) cleanup provide for funding and seamless transition of the park facilities (pool, playground, skatepark, basketball courts) and services (the School Food Lunch, Learn to Swim, cooling centers, etc.) at a nearby location.

Letter to
Administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office Judith A. Enck
While we, the undersigned, support a comprehensive Superfund cleanup of the Gowanus Canal that includes addressing raw sewage overflows, we also insist that Superfund follow its own principles and make the polluters pay, not our community!

For this reason, we strongly oppose the EPA’s proposed placement of a raw sewage holding tank to be built at the Douglass and Degraw (Double D) community pool and Thomas Greene Park site in Gowanus, Brooklyn and request that the alternative location identified for the proposed raw sewage retention tank be selected.

With over $500M being spent on this EPA Superfund cleanup alone, this cleanup must be an investment in our community, and not THEFT of public parkland. The Superfund cleanup is extracting large amounts of money from Potentially Responsible Parties (PRP's), and it was revealed at a recent DEP meeting that $50 million was spent on consultants as part of the retention tank siting selection process – this sum alone could have funded the estimated cost to replace the Double D pool. Federal, state and city agencies must effectively coordinate to protect public resources and minimize impact to the local community in the Superfund cleanup of the Gowanus Canal so that capturing raw sewage before it enters the Gowanus Canal does not mean a raw deal for the tens of thousands of families who have come to depend on the Thomas Greene Park and Double D Pool for crucial park and recreation space.

As such, we ask for guarantees to our community that any displacement or disruption to the Thomas Greene Park and Double D Pool deemed necessary as a result of the EPA, and forthcoming DEC Superfund cleanup, be met with enforceable measures to provide for the funding and seamless transition of the park facilities (pool, playground, skatepark, basketball courts) and services (the School Food Lunch, Learn to Swim, cooling centers, etc.) at a nearby temporary location. Furthermore, full restoration and permanent replacement of all the community services and park amenities must be accounted for.