A Brief History of Toxic New York, In Pictures


  • Dave Herr

Last week, Governor Cuomo gallantly signed legislation requiring that companies actually bother to tell the public when they’ve accidentally spilled untreated sewage into public waters.

How considerate.

This news, along with the EPA’s laborious efforts to clean up various polluted waterways including the Hudson, the Gowanus Canal, and Newtown Creek, got us to reminiscing about New York’s long history with, for lack of better terms, poop in the water.

And no, we’re not talking about the McCarren Pool (are these jokes getting old yet?).

We’re talking about large-scale, scary sewage leaks, an issue we’ve been keeping an eye on for some time now. Let’s take a look back at selected incidents in our, uh, muddied history with waste cleanup in New York’s public waters, and at least take some comfort in knowing that things are better than they used to be.


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