The city wants to flood Newtown Creek with oxygen in an effort to make it meet clean water standards, the Brooklyn Paper reports—but critics charge this “band-aid” won’t actually clean-up the waterway, and could in fact cause more harm.
The creek’s real problems, they say, are the sesquicentury of pollution and the overburdened sewer system that dumps raw sewage into the water. A bunch of oxygen bubbles aren’t going to fix that. “It’s a very narrow solution to a very big problem that’s just addressing current standards for dissolved oxygen,” one environmentalist told the Paper. “It’s not improving the ecology of the creek at all.”
In fact, watchdogs worry that the bubbles could bring waste to the water’s surface, posing a health threat to the community. The city contends the process is safe, but critics don’t believe that the studies they’re relying on are relevant here.
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