Cheers And Thanks For EPA Region 2 As Team Presents Proposed Clean-Up Plan For Gowanus Canal

Natalie Loney, EPA Region 2 Community Involvement Coordinator addressing audience
EPA's Christos Tsiamis, Walter Mugdan and Judith Enck
EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck
Christos Tsiamis, Remedial Project Manager for the Gowanus Canal
Walter Mugdan, EPA Region 2's,
Director of the Division of Environmental Planning and ProtectionIMG_1278
Patty White, geologist for CH2MHillIMG_1281
Potential location for Confined Disposal Facility in Red Hook

Cheers and thanks from a grateful community greeted the Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 team last night as they presented their Proposed Plan for the clean-up of the heavily polluted Gowanus Canal at the first of two public meetings.
The praise for the agency was well deserved.
Not only has EPA Region 2 been transparent from the start, kept to its original timeline, and has stayed in constant communication since the Gowanus Canal was placed on the National Priorities list in March 2010,  it has designed a plan that delivers everything that the community asked for.
As one resident stated last night, "the Agency went above and beyond the call of duty."

The remedy proposed by EPA includes:

*Dredging, stabilizing and capping
Dredging of all soft sediment at the bottom of the canal
In -situ stabilization of target areas and native sediment
Capping the bottom of the canal with a three-layer cap

*Source control at the three major upland Manufactured Gas Plant sites along the canal.  The remedy for the MGP site at Public Place, will include a cut-off wall between the site and the canal, removal of major mobile coal tar sources, and recovery wells near cut-off wall.
Remedies for the Fulton and Metropolitan sites will be similar.
The work will be performed by National Grid under the supervision of NYS Department Of Environmental Conservation and will be coordinated with EPA's clean-up

*Control CSO discharges at two major outfalls and includes in-line retention tanks at the Fulton former MGP site and at the Salt Lot at the end of 2nd Avenue.  Both sites are owned by the City of New York.
The cost of the tanks are estimated to be about $78 million.

*Unpermitted pipe discharge:  EPA will coordinate with NYC DEP and NYC DEC to seal the 12 identified pipes in question.  The anticipated cost will be minimal.

*Excavation and restoration of the 1st Street Basin, which was illegally filled  in the 1950's

The preferred remedy for the treatment and disposal of the dredged sediment include offsite disposal, offsite or onsite stabilization with beneficial use, thermal desorption, offsite cogeneration or offsite or onsite stabilization and disposal in a constructed Confined Disposal Facility (CDF).
One such potential CDF site has been identified in Red Hook.

The cost for the remedy will be in the range of $467-504 million and will be assumed by the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs).  New York City and National Grid  have been identified as the most significant PRPs.
Treatment and disposal of the dredged material will cost from $179 to $ 216 million
That cost assumes that sediment from the lower canal ( RTA 3) undergoes on-site stabilization and disposal in an on-site CDF.
If off-site stabilization and beneficial use is selected, the cost will increase by $37 million.

The EPA Plan is contingent on both State and Public acceptance.  On December 2012, New York State concurred with the proposed remedy.

A second public meeting will take place in Red Hook tonight at 7 PM at the Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 West 9th Street.
Public comments on its proposed plan will be accepted until March 28, 2013 and should be addressed to:

Christos Tsiamis
Project Manager
Central New York Remediation Section
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10007-1866
OR, contact Natalie Loney, Community Involvement Coordinator, at 212-637-3639

The final remedy will be selected by the summer of 2013 and the remedial design will be completed by 2016.  The completion date for the clean-up is 2022.

To access the EPA’s proposed plan for the Gowanus Canal site or for more information on the canal, visit or visit the EPA’s document repositories at the Carroll Gardens Library at 396 Clinton St. in Brooklyn or the Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 West 9th Street, Brooklyn.