8. Cleanup Crew May Find Cesium-137 in the Creek

The bottom of the Newtown Creek contains a thick layer of residue, up to 25-feet thick in some cases. The viscous layer, which locals refer to as “black mayonnaise,” is the culmination of the unobstructed dumping of waste from 1,491 sites, 93 of which were still operational as of 2010. As EPA contractors work to cleanup the bottom of the canal, they expect to encounter numerous harmful substances, such as arsenic, polychorinated biphenyls, and even cesium-137, leftover from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in the sixties. Moreover, tests conducted by ExxonMobil in the Summer of 2006 and 2007 revealed that are potentially explosive concentrations of methane gas underneath the intersection of Bridgewater Street, Apollo Street, and Norman Avenue.