Learn about the ongoing cleanup of the Gowanus Canal from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives and elected officials.

The Gowanus Canal is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States — but did you know that there is work being done to clean it up?

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved a plan to remove polluted material from the Canal and address other sources of pollution along its banks, including three former manufactured-gas plant sites, along with upgrades to the city’s sewer system. The cleanup work, which began in November 2020, is expected to cost more than $1.5 billion dollars.

On June 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) invites members of the greater Gowanus community to attend a Town Hall meeting at P.S. 32 (317 Hoyt Street) to learn more about the cleanup of the Canal under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Program.

Representatives from the EPA’s cleanup team and the CAG will be there to talk about:

  • Why the canal got so polluted in the first place
  • What the cleanup will change about the Canal
  • What’s happening today, with clean up activities currently underway
  • What the canal might look like when the cleanup is complete
  • How the community can get involved in the cleanup
  • And more!

The focus of the Town Hall will be on answering your questions. Please RSVP for the event, and share your questions in advance at gowanuscag@gmail.com.

The Gowanus Canal Cleanup: A Community Town Hall
Thursday, June 30
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
P.S. 32
317 Hoyt Street, Brooklyn
Register here.

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 7 p.m., the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host another online public-engagement meeting about the development of the Gowanus Canal “Owls Head” combined-sewer overflow facility planned for 2nd Avenue and 6th Street in Brooklyn.

DEP and the design team will report back on the feedback received at the February 10th public engagement meeting and how it has informed the design approach for the City’s facilities and opportunities for public open space and ecosystem restoration.

DEP encourages advance registration for this meeting. For more information, and to register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-engagement-meeting-gowanus-canal-owls-head-cso-facility-tickets-321448550267

The public is invited to comment on a proposed remedy being reviewed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), in consultation with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), to address contamination related to the 240 Huntington Street site (“site”) located at 240 Huntington Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Based on the findings of the investigation, NYSDEC in consultation with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has determined that the site does not pose a significant threat to public health or the environment.

How to Comment: NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan, called a “Draft Remedial Action Work Plan,” through April 23, 2022.

You can access the Draft Remedial Action Work Plan and supporting documents here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/data/DecDocs/C224314/.

The site is located as indicated in the map below.

You can download a fact sheet about the proposed project here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/c224314cuprop.pdf.

You can sign up to receive updates and information about sites being addressed under New York State’s Superfund, Brownfield Cleanup, and Environmental Restoration Programs here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/61092.html.

Please join us for our April 2022 General Meeting, conducted via Zoom video conference.

To attend the meeting, it’s necessary that you register in advance, or when joining the meeting, here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqde6qqzgiGtbe4D0OebQQTgVR5v-Q2YOE

DRAFT AGENDA  (all times are approximate)

6:30 – 6:45 PM: Welcome and Introductions 

6:45 – 7:30 PM: USEPA Updates 

7:30 – 8:30 PM: CAG Business and Committee Updates

  • Outreach Committee and Town Hall Planning
  • Land Use Committee
  • Water Quality/Technical Committee
  • Archaeology and Historic Preservation Committee

8:30 PM: Adjourn

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will host a virtual public availability session on Wednesday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m., to discuss the remedy to address contamination related to Parcel III and a portion of Parcel IV of the Fulton Works Former MGP site located adjacent to Nevins Street between Degraw and Sackett Streets in Gowanus.

To join the meeting by computer, please visit https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?MTID=ee2fa0821234 6676dce4145415c1b9946.

To join the meeting by phone, dial (518) 549-0500 and use the following access code: 161 612 2011.

You can view a fact sheet outlining plans for the Fulton MGP cleanup here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/224051cubegins.pdf.

Contractors working under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have completed the installation of pipe pile bulkheads at the entrance to the filled-in 1st Street Turning Basin. The stabilizing bulkheads will facilitate excavation of the turning basin, allowing for its eventual restoration. Read about this and other news in the EPA’s Community Update #3, embedded below and available as a PDF here.

Para obtener una versión en español, haga clic aquí.

Update on necessary closures of the Union Street Bridge from the Gowanus Remediation Team:

Please be advised that the Union Street Bridge will be impassable to all roadway traffic between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., for up to five days a week, beginning March 8, 2022. The closures will be implemented on certain weekdays intermittently, based on the need to conduct specific
construction activities.

These closures are necessary to facilitate work being conducted in the canal by the Gowanus Remediation Team (GRT). Setting the bridge span in the open position (closed to roadway traffic) will allow GRT workers to remove and stabilize target sediments from the canal bed, and install new electrical cables that are a part of the bridge’s control system.

The daily closures will be implemented intermittently as needed until Fall 2022. The working hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. have been selected in order to minimize the inconvenience for pedestrians and motorists that will be unable to traverse the bridge while this work is in progress.

Please note that the Carroll Street Bridge is expected to remain closed to roadway traffic while this work at the Union Street Bridge is taking place.

For questions and concerns please reach out to the Gowanus Remediation Team at info@gowanussuperfund.com or call the hotline at (718) 403-2451.