Newtown Creek Brownfields Opportunity Area Plan

“Newtown Creek is one of the most grossly-contaminated waterways in the country.”
George Pavlou, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

The Newtown Creek waterfront includes the boundaries of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City and the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Maspeth, Blissville, and Hunter's Point. The project area includes 994 acres and more than 400 parcels, of which at least half are believed to be contaminated, another six of which are currently designated State Superfund sites and the designation of the Creek itself as a Federal Superfund site by the U.S. EPA is eminent. The original New York home of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil, Newtown Creek boasts a 200 year history of heavy industrial use and community concern to industrial practices. The Creek is also the site of what was until the BP Gulf Oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history, caused when an underground pipeline exploded in the 1950s. The spill, which was not officially discovered until 1978, released between 17 and 30 million gallons of petroleum into the Creek. The current decade has seen a growing interest in cleaning and greening the Creek. The thirteen‐year, $2.2 billion upgrade of the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (a sewage treatment facility) is among the largest public works projects in New York City.

SGA is part of a multidisciplinary team hired by the BOA Partners consisting of a joint initiative of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), Riverkeeper and the Newtown Creek Alliance. The BOA Partners were awarded a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant by New York State to undertake a major community‐based planning initiative that will facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield properties. SGA is providing ecological planning and landscape architectural design services in support of the BOA planning process that will nominate Newtown Creek for state BOA designation, which will result in eligibility for remediation and redevelopment implementation funding.