"NEW YORK — For at least 120 years, city officials have been promising to do something about the oily, smelly mess that is the Gowanus Canal.
Now, federal authorities will see if they can do a better job of cleaning up one of the city's most polluted waterways.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday named the Brooklyn canal as a Superfund site, a distinction that allows the government to go after polluters and force them to pay for its restoration. The EPA has said the cleanup could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
The agency made the designation over the objections of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had criticized the federal program as too slow and preferred an alternative plan in which the city would supervise the cleanup itself."
In addition to listing 10 sites, EPA also proposed listing 8 more.