New Map Shows How Toxic New York City Is

CREDIT: Property Shark

Superfund sites aren’t the only thing New York residents have to worry about — the city is littered with other toxic areas, according to a new map.

The map, created by Property Shark, displays toxic areas around the city created from gasoline and other spills, tank failures, air discharge facilities, hazardous waste storage facilities and other polluting factors. The density of the toxic sites is noteworthy, especially in areas like lower Manhattan. Newton Creek, between Brooklyn and Queens, was named a Superfund site in 2010 and is one of the most polluted industrial sites in the U.S.

The map’s results are frightening given New York City’s vulnerability to storm surge. A recent report found the New York region — which includes Northern New Jersey and Long Island — has the greatest number of properties at risk from storm surges. Superstorm Sandy sparked the worry of how the region’s toxic sites would respond to another huge storm — as of last year, 45 of New York and New Jersey’s Superfund sites were within a half-mile of vulnerable coastal areas.

New York City has two Superfund sites — Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal, with the plan for cleanup in the canal finalized this September. In 2011, the city was named among the top ten most polluted cities in America, with 4.1 million pounds of on-site toxic releases reported in 2009.