Just when you thought you'd have to worry about the Gowanus Whole Foods serving not just organics but volatile organics like benzene and toluene, it turns out there's no reason to worry. Maybe. A draft report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, summarized in today's Daily News, says the Whole Foods site at Third Avenue and Third Street is not a "significant threat to public health or the environment." (Among other things, the site has been used for oil storage, a building materials company, a trucking company, a freight depot, a junkyard and automobile repair shop.) To complete the cleanup, more toxic soil will be removed from the site. Then, a "protective membrane" will be placed around the foundation to keep benzene vapors and other toxins from seeping into the store, most of which will be below street level. Also, extra clean fill will be put under the public promenade along the Gowanus. And so, by opening day in 2008, there will be no "significant threat." But will there be, in layman's terms, an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, insignificant one?
· Market in Gowanus OK, says state agency [NYDN]
· Gowanus Toxicity Update: Worse Than You Think [Curbed]
· Gowanus Friday #1: There is No Toxic Peril [Curbed]