NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Neighborhood swimming pools are an important part of summer in the city, especially in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn where residents rallied on Saturday to prevent their pool from being taken away.
The ‘Double D’ pool, as it has become known, exists amid blocks of post-industrial landscape, just a stones throw away from the Gowanus Canal; the pool has been a vital resource for families and children for decades.
Now, the neighborhood oasis is being threatened by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA wants to install a giant raw sewage retention tank right underneath the popular pool, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.
The tank is part of a proposed superfund cleanup plan for the Gowanus Canal, it’s an urgent need, but it could cause collateral damage to a community that relies on very few recreation outlets.
On Saturday local leaders joined residents at a rally to save the pool.
“We will not accept anything less than a full-service pool in this community,” City Councilman Stephen Levin said.
Leaders and residents understand the need for environmental help, but said that replacing the pool with a tank should be avoided.
“I’m like it’s a pool in the area, that’s great and then I hear they try to close it,” Renay Matthew said.
The neighborhood has a history of overwhelming industrial pollution and the tank may not be the only threat facing the pool.
“There is a coal gas manufacturing plant storage tank under here that’s been capped, which is starting to seep that also needs to be remediated,” Friends of Douglass Greene Park spokesperson Joanne Simon said.
The Parks Department said that the loss of the pool would be an unacceptable burden to the surrounding community, the EPA has not yet responded to a call from CBS 2.
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