The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has scheduled a community availability session on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at PS 372, 512 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, at which it will discuss the community-wide investigation and cleanup activities planned for Brownfield sites in the Gowanus area.

You can find more information about the session, and ongoing cleanup efforts in the Gowanus neighborhood, here:

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Administrative Committee met via Zoom conference on Friday, September 15, at 3:00 p.m.

Committee members attending:
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Rita Miller

The committee discussed five membership applications submitted between 2019 and 2021. These applicants will be contacted by Admin to see if they are still interested in CAG membership. If any or all of them are still interested, they will be reviewed at an Admin Committee meeting in October, exact date to be determined.

The committee reviews the following three applicants from 2023:

Danny Smith – recommended by committee
Allen Bullock – committee conflicted with no hard recommendation
Chris Girgenti – recommended by committee

Proposal by Admin to the general CAG:

That EPA provide a Zoom account for the CAG where all general and/or committee meetings may be recorded and stored for access by all CAG members. May also be stored on the website for all.

A reminder to the general CAG that the CAG Charter, including both addendums as they were approved, are now listed chronologically on the website.

Admin wlll resend the FAQ’s re:CAG membership to Eric and Celeste at Outreach. These were FAQ’s submitted to Outreach a while back for possible inclusion on the CAG website (only after full CAG approval, of course).

Finally, CAG general meetings have really not included a comment period for the public since we began exclusively using Zoom. It is an important component of the general meeting to include the community’s remarks, questions and concerns. Admin would like to see a block of time included in the general meeting agenda for publc comment.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a new community update regarding Brownfield and State Superfund cleanup activities around the Gowanus Canal.

The update includes information on a public availability session that NYS DEC and the NYS Department of Health will hold on the evening of October 3rd, and details on plans for soil vapor intrusion investigation in locations surrounding the canal.

Click the image below to access a PDF version of the full four-page community update, or visit this link:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a response to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group last month to a letter sent in March by the CAG’s Land Use Committee requesting more information on a number of topics, including the migration and dangers of coal tar beneath the Gowanus Canal and nearby sites, potential plans for air monitoring, requests for a hydrology study, and more.

You can read the NYSDEC response in full below.

EPA Region 2’s Joel Singerman sent the following note to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group today regarding efforts to address low dissolved oxygen levels in the canal while the flushing tunnel is not operating.

“In an effort to alleviate the low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the upper portion of the canal during CSO events while the flushing tunnel is offline, on August 16, 2023, the PRP Group reactivated an air curtain at the 3rd Street bridge. The air curtain is a bubbler that is located on the sediment bed and releases air to serve as a turbidity curtain that vessels can pass over. The sparged air will likely boost DO levels. The air curtain may also discourage the menhaden from swimming into the low DO level areas of the upper canal, and, thus, reduce the likelihood of another fish kill. The air curtain had been switched off for several months, as it was not needed during the capping operations. The PRP Group will operate the air curtain during working hours and monitor the effect on the DO levels. If the air curtain has a positive effect on DO levels, they will operate it during periods of suppressed DO levels in the canal.  Because it has not been determined if operating the air curtain at the 3rd Street bridge will have sufficient impact, the DO levels will need to be monitored to decide whether to maintain the air curtain at the 3rd Street bridge, move it, or obtain an additional air sparge setup, which could be as simple as using perforated pipes connected to air compressors.”

Following our July General Meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group wrote to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requesting that the state provide indoor air-monitoring equipment to all buildings near the 49 State Brownfield and Superfund sites along the Gowanus Canal.

You can read our letter to NYSDEC here.

Following the retirement of long-time Gowanus Canal Remedial Project Manager Christos Tsiamis in June, EPA Region 2 has announced the appointment of three individuals to succeed him in supervising the Superfund cleanup of the Gowanus Canal.

Victoria Sacks, Mark Granger, and Tom Mongelli, all experienced hands at EPA, will jointly oversee the Canal’s ongoing remediation. Sacks’s expertise is in sediment remediation, while Granger will focus on the three former Manufactured Gas Plants and other upland sites. Mongelli has been managing the cleanup of the Wolff-Alport site on the Brooklyn-Queens border, which contains radioactive materials among its harmful contamination.

Read more about the Gowanus Canal’s new Remedial Project Managers below, courtesy of EPA Region 2.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has published a fact sheet and opened a public comment period for the proposed remediation of the site known as 125 Third Street in Gowanus.

NYSDEC states that, based on the findings of its investigation in consultation with the New York State Department of Health, it has determined that the site does not pose a significant threat to public health or the environment. NYSDEC reports that its decision is based on the nature of the existing contaminants identified at the site, and what it says is the lack of potential for off-site migration of contaminants in the groundwater.

How to Comment: NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the proposed Draft Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP) through August 18, 2023.

You can access the RAWP and other project documents online through the DECinfo Locator here:

Documents also are available at Carroll Gardens branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, and at the Community Board 6 district office.

Comments and questions are welcome and can be directed as follows:

Project-Related Questions
Meghan Medwid, Project Manager
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
(518) 402-8610

Project-Related Health Questions
Steven Berninger
Corning Tower Room 1787
(518) 402-0443

You can access the Fact Sheet for 125 Third Street here.