Over the past few months the site for Whole Foods new store in Gowanus, Brooklyn, at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, has been a buzz with activity. Various construction vehicles have been zipping along next to the Canal; workers has been digging and laying concrete. The footprint for the store is well on its way to being complete. And up until November some residents nearby and in surrounding neighborhoods have been rejoicing with the idea that the Texas born chain is finally building its controversial store on the banks of the Gowanus, Canal.

But, then Hurricane Sandy happened and the Whole Foods site, like much of the land along the Gowanus Canal, flooded. Flooded badly! Every inch of Whole Foods property in Brooklyn was submerged by Hurricanes Sandy’s surge. That gave Whole Foods advocates pause. But, then rumors started that the water was just ‘sea water’ and, as one smiling local residents stated after the storm, “there’s nothing wrong with a little salt water!” This rumor was validated for Whole Foods advocates by the EPA who tested a whopping four samples in two buildings (that’s only two!), near the Gowanus Canal right after the storm. The EPA found that bacteria was high, most likely from the massive amount of untreated sewage that is frequently dumped in the Canal, but that the toxic chemicals like metals and petroleum were very low. So, for advocates, ‘no harm, no foul.’ But the water that flooded the Whole Foods site may not have been sea water, since the water in the Gowanus Canal, which is 20 feet away, is a Superfunded site; And yesterday, twitter user @MartinBisi posted an image of a sign at the Whole Food sign, which read: “WARNING NO TRESPASSING ACTIVE CONTAMINATION SITE”…

Um… say what now? You mean the location for a place that is going to sell food to the masses has a sign that reads ”WARNING NO TRESPASSING ACTIVE CONTAMINATION SITE”???!!!

The sign appears to be next to a newly placed drain or vent that could possibly lead to the Gowanus Canal. Although why bother putting a drain or vent at all that leads to the Canal, since the waterway is just right there. Plus, if you look carefully at the image there appears to be several other signs with the same message all along the orange netting that separates the Whole Foods site from the Canal.

Why are these signs even here? Why are there not signs like these all over the Gowanus near the Canal? The Canal’s a ‘contaminated site’, isn’t it? Why are these signs just at the Whole Foods site? Only time will tell.

Time may even reveal that these signs are somehow a fake, misplaced, or even related to some construction contaminated. But simple logic will tell you that a plot of marshland next to a Superfunded contaminated Canal (set to take 25 years to clean), which has been flooded by that Canal’s very ‘toxic’ water, is most likely ‘contaminated’ and thus dangerous.