Newtown Creek: Superfund Site and Community Advisory Group

by GWAPP on

In September 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed Newtown Creek as a “Superfund” site, which has enabled the EPA to conduct a series of tests and studies to pinpoint the major contaminants and establish the best means of remediating the contaminated site. Additionally, designation as a superfund has made Newtown Creek eligible for millions of dollars in federal funding to clean up the surrounding area, money that is separate from the $19.5 million settlement that resulted from the Exxon Mobil lawsuit. As more than 300,000 residents live within a mile of Newtown Creek, the superfund designation makes this site one of the largest in the country.

In order to represent the interests of local residents in the process, the EPA organized a Community Advisory Group (CAG). Through their website, the CAG routinely updates the neighborhood about meetings, testing results and additional information about the remidiation process. For regular updates on the process, sign up for the CAG mailing list, which is located on the left side of the home page.

For more information see the images below from the CAG and EPA’s websites detailing the remediation process and the CAG’s role in the process.

Community Advisory Group


What is Superfund?

Superfund is the name given to the environmental program established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites. It is also the name of the fund established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA statute, CERCLA overview). This law was enacted in the wake of the discovery of toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal and Times Beach in the 1970s. It allows the EPA to clean up such sites and to compel responsible parties to perform cleanups or reimburse the government for EPA-lead cleanups.

Additional Resources:

  • EPA Site for Newtown Creek
  • EPA Overview of Newtown Creek
  • Newtown Creek Alliance
  • Newtown Creek Superfund Newsletter (January 2012)
  • More Information:

  • NYTimes: New York City’s Parallel to Gulf Oil Spill
  • Greenpoint Gazette: It’s Official – Newtown Creek is Superfund
  • Brooklyn Paper: Superfund to Pay for Greenpoint Cleanup


    The Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning, Inc. ("GWAPP") is a not-for-profit group, 501(c)(3), comprised of individuals, community organizations, religious institutions, and concerned citizens from the Greenpoint-Williamsburg communities dedicated to the development of parks and public access on the Greenpoint waterfront.