Please join us for our June General Meeting, on Tuesday, June 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street, in Carroll Gardens. All of our meetings are open to the public.

Draft Agenda (all times are approximate)

5:45 PM: Facilitation Team Pre-Meeting

6:30 – 6:45 PM: Introductions and CAG Updates 

  • Introductions
  • CAG Updates
  • Approve minutes from May

6:45 – 7:45 PM: Preliminary Design for the First Street Basin

  • EPA, DEP, DDC

7:45 – 8:15 PM: Discuss Proposed Resolutions and Processes

  • Water Quality and Technical Committee (two resolutions, see below)

8:15 PM: CAG Committee Updates (as needed)

  • Administration Committee
  • Archaeology Committee
  • Land Use Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Water Quality and Technical Committee

8:30 PM: New Member Interview

8:45 PM: Adjourn

 

Read more »

The Gowanus CAG Outreach Committee met on Thursday, May 13, 2016, with discussion focused on continuing development of the CAG’s Communications Plan.

CAG members present: Sabine Aronowsky, Katia Kelly, Eric McClure, Christine Petro.

EPA: Natalie Loney

Review of Outstanding Action Items

The group reviewed the action items from the April meeting.

The full CAG approved all four requests put forth by the Outreach Committee at the April general meeting:

  • Establishment of a CAG Twitter account (@GowanusCAG) to be used to push out information available on the CAG website, such as meeting dates and times, links to web posts and CAG news.

Eric reported that he had issued invitations to the Google Group to CAG members, activated the Twitter feed, and had posted the links to the Facebook and YouTube pages.  As agreed, the links to the EPA’s Gowanus Superfund Facebook page and the CAG’s YouTube page contain the following disclaimer:  “The contents of the EPA’s Gowanus Canal Facebook page/the Gowanus Canal CAG YouTube page are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gowanus Canal CAG.  We make no representations as to the accuracy of the information presented.”  The disclaimer appears when someone hovers over the links on the home page. Read more »

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Administrative Committee met on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at 9 a.m., at the CB6/Cobble Hill Community Room at 250 Baltic Street.

Committee Members Attending:
Jerry Armer
Ben Jones
Katia Kelly
Rita Miller

Maryann Young, CORD alternate

Admin Committee reviewed a membership application for Peter Reich. Applicant will be invited to attend next CAG general meeting for interview.

A committee member suggested that Admin consider presenting a recent statement issued to EPA by David Briggs and signed by many others regarding the pending agreement between NYC and the EPA, for approval as a press release by the full CAG. Admin approved the suggestion.

A committee member suggested reviewing and amending Charter bylaws regarding voting criteria. Admin will convene another meeting at a date to be announced to discuss.

The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced that it had finalized an agreement with New York City for the siting and design of an 8,000,000-gallon retention tank at the head end of the Gowanus Canal, intended to significantly reduce the flow of untreated waste water into the canal during combined sewer overflow events.

The EPA’s full press release is below.

EPA Finalizes Agreement with New York City on Combined Sewer Overflow Tank Design

Contact: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y. – June 9, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized an agreement with the City of New York that secures the design of the larger of two combined sewage and storm water overflow (CSO) retention tanks, which are key components of the Gowanus Canal cleanup, including both the tank’s size and location. It also requires New York City to undertake activities to prepare that location for the tank installation and to pay EPA’s oversight costs. Prior to finalizing the agreement with New York City, the EPA accepted comments from the public for 45 days and attended two Brooklyn community meetings to explain the proposal. A response to the public comments has been issued with the final order.

The final administrative agreement and order released today allows New York City to locate an eight million gallon retention tank in New York City’s preferred location, known as the “Head-of-Canal” location, but it also holds the city to a strict schedule with monetary penalties imposed if violations of the schedule occur. Also, the EPA can require New York City to place the tank in the Thomas Greene Park location instead if certain activities do not occur on schedule, including if New York City is not able to acquire the land at the Head-of-Canal location within approximately four years. Locations for staging and other work related to the construction of the 8 million gallon retention tank will be acquired by New York City as part of the ongoing design phase of the project.

“The New York City Parks Department prefers not to have a large sewage retention tank permanently located in a city park,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “The EPA is committed to preserving urban parkland and worked with the City of New York on this alternate location. This alternate location meets the dual goals of cleaning up the canal while also protecting urban parkland.” Read more »

Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group Meeting
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street

Introductions and CAG Updates

Many CAG members attended the April 25 public meeting on the tank-siting agreement. The comments are on record but tonight’s discussion will not be on record. The formal transcript will take at least two weeks to complete but the CAG will be putting a full unedited video of the meeting online in the next few days.

There is a documentary film team present tonight. They have been filming a long-term project called Gowanus Current, documenting changes in the neighborhood and the lives of people who live and work here and occasionally attend and film CAG meetings.

Two resolutions tonight and procedural issues.

 

Outreach Committee Requests

The Committee presented four procedural items for CAG discussion and agreement. The CAG approved all four items:

  1. Reactivate and adopt the CAG Google Group. This will help to consolidate group correspondence. This will be a closed group consisting of the CAG membership, not the full CAG email list. We can also explore establishing committee sub-groups.
  2. Implement and use the @GowanusCAG Twitter account. This will be used to share information posted to the CAG website, such as announcing meetings and approved materials, just factual info, not editorial or third-party content.
  3. Include link to EPA’s Gowanus Facebook page on the CAG homepage. The Facebook page is managed by Natalie Loney. The link will include a CAG disclaimer.
  4. Include a link to the CAG YouTube page on CAG homepage. Again with a disclaimer. This provides a place to post useful videos such as we are doing with the 4/25 public meeting.

 

The March 29, 2016 Minutes were approved.

Read more »

Did you miss the EPA’s public meeting on April 25 at which they presented the proposed settlement agreement with New York City for the siting of an 8-million-gallon CSO retention tank at the head end of the Gowanus Canal? If so, you can view the EPA’s presentation here.

You can also watch a video of the entire meeting on our YouTube page, or read the complete, official transcript of the meeting here.

The EPA will be accepting public comments on the terms of the agreement (which you can see in full here) until May 31. You can submit comments by mail or email to:

Walter Mugdan, U.S. EPA Superfund Director
290 Broadway, Floor 19
New York, N.Y., 10007
mugdan.walter@epa.gov

 

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in the offices of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy at 543 Union Street.

CAG Members present: David Briggs, Marlene Donnelly, Rafael Gomez de Luna, Andrea Parker, Buddy Scotto, Debra Scotto, Mark Shames, Sue Wolfe, Maryann Young

Guests: Terri Thompson, National Grid

Item 1

Review of March 1, 2016 meeting minutes.

Action

Minutes approved.

Item 2

The Department of Sanitation of New York [DSNY] is planning to build a compost facility and a salt storage shed at the Salt Lot, which is the planned site of a retention tank. There is confusion about why DSNY is proceeding with this work in light of the EPA’s comments at the January CAG meeting that the retention tank installations could move forward. All agreed that the design and installation of both retention tanks should proceed expeditiously and be completed prior to the dredging.

Action

Andrea and Dave will draft a resolution requesting the EPA to move forward with the OH-007 retention-tank design process and construction schedule. The draft will be circulated to the committee for review and comment. Read more »

Did you miss the April 25 EPA hearing on the draft settlement agreement with New York City for siting of the CSO retention tank at the head of the Gowanus Canal? You can watch the entirety of the EPA’s presentation, and comments made in response to it by members of the public, below.

The video is also available at the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s YouTube page.

[Disclaimer: The contents of this video, and other videos posted on the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s YouTube page, are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the CAG. We make no representations as to the accuracy of the information contained therein.]

To read more about the draft settlement agreement, please click here.

The EPA is accepting public comments on the terms of the agreement until May 31. You can submit comments by mail or email to:

Walter Mugdan, U.S. EPA Superfund Director
290 Broadway, Floor 19
New York, N.Y., 10007
mugdan.walter@epa.gov