EPA Region 2 issued the following press release yesterday in conjunction with the start of dredging of the Gowanus Canal.
NEW YORK – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, New York State Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, New York City Councilmember Brad Lander, members of the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group and other dignitaries marked the start of dredging operations in the upper portion of the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in Brooklyn, New York, by the Carroll Street bridge. This is a major milestone in the history of one of the nation’s most contaminated waterways. It is anticipated that the dredging in this portion of the Canal will be completed in fall 2022, with capping to be completed in mid-2023.
“Today we mark the official start of a historic cleanup to address a legacy of hazardous waste and urban pollution that dates back to the 1800s,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA’s partnership with local, state, and federal entities through constructive engagement and community engagement has been the hallmark of this successful collaboration. This achievement demonstrates the progress of the Superfund program and EPA’s commitment to protecting human health and the revitalization of the Gowanus and Red Hook communities.”
“We’ve come a long way to get where we are today. Full scale dredging is a welcome and long-awaited step toward full cleanup of the polluted Gowanus Canal,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “Though this project is years from completion, we are on an ambitious timeline for cleanup of our first Superfund site in the City. I would like to extend my thanks to EPA and the community for their commitment to the health of our community. Together, we’ll achieve a cleaner city for years to come.”
“The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group is deeply gratified that dredging of the upper portion of the canal is getting underway today,” said Founding Member Eric McClure. “The start of dredging comes just over 10 years from the date of the first meeting of the Community Advisory Group, and many founding CAG members are still actively providing EPA with community input. We’ve looked forward to this day for a long time, as it marks the beginning of the actual removal of contaminants from the canal, and while we know the complete cleanup will by necessity proceed for another decade, we’re excited that a cleaner, healthier Gowanus Canal is on the horizon. We thank the EPA for their steadfast commitment to a clean canal, and for their partnership in reaching this historic moment and in the work ahead. It’s truly a momentous day for Gowanus.”Read more »