Please join us for our next General Meeting, on Tuesday, May 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 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)

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

6:45 – 7:45 PM: Project Updates, Q&A

  • EPA

7:45 PM: Adjourn Public Session of the CAG

8:00 PM: CAG Administrative Session

  • Items from Facilitation Committee
  • Items from Admin Committee
  • Additional Items to Address

9:00 PM: Adjourn

Gowanus Canal CAG Meeting
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street

Announcements:

Doug Sarno opened the meeting at 6:35 p.m.

Project Updates

Christos Tsiamis, Remedial Project Manager for EPA, presented the updates.

The 4th Street Basin Pilot Project

The preparation work for the pilot has been arduous and taken longer than planned. The silver lining is that this is a pilot. A big part of the pilot is to identify any problems with the technologies we will be using now before we begin the actual work. EPA anticipates being able to begin dredging by the first week of March.

Historical Preservation Analysis for Building at Nevins & Butler Street

John Vetter, EPA archaeological consultant, presented an overview of the historical preservation work.

This is part of an ongoing process that many here have been a part of. We looked at the turning basin, did we find any exciting artifacts? No. We haven’t even found what we anticipated, which would be a great collection of handguns. Now they’re looking at 8-million-gallon sewer overflow tanks, which means the city faces constraints in the siting and engineering of the facility. The EPA’s responsibility suggests that under Section 106, we have to identify what is there and if construction of the facility will have an effect on any historic facilities and how we could avoid, minimize or mitigate these impacts. EPA is working with its partners and getting input from all of them, including NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, NYC DEP, and the community. EPA wants feedback on the potential historic impacts and the options to mitigate those impacts.

Read more »

In a letter to City Council Member Stephen Levin dated April 19, EPA Region 2 Administrator Peter Lopez expressed support for a community visioning process focused on the future of the area surrounding the northern end of the Gowanus Canal, an idea initiated by the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) in a resolution passed at the CAG’s March 2018 general meeting.

Lopez writes:

Community engagement is a cornerstone of EPA’s Superfund program and we have long encouraged active community engagement regarding the potential impacts of Superfund cleanups, including the design of construction projects required to carry out such cleanups. For the Gowanus Canal, we have worked closely with the CAG to provide this kind of input. We would welcome additional timely community input through the sort of visioning process proposed by the recent CAG Resolution.

Click the link to read Lopez’s letter in its entirety: EPA Region 2 to CM Levin re Visioning Process 4-19-18.

At its March 27, 2018 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution calling for a comprehensive community visioning process for the future of the head-end of the Gowanus Canal.

The resolution, addressed to local City Council Member Stephen Levin and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, reads as follows:

Resolved, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) requests that our elected officials, city agencies, and community representatives immediately initiate, secure funds for, and lead an active community-engagement and visioning process with the CAG and community that gathers input, at a minimum, on the following:

●  Impact of this project on local businesses and residents,

●  Removal of Thomas Greene Park pool and coal-tar remediation,

●  Design and construction of a temporary pool,

●  Long-term disposition of the staging area,

●  Taking advantage of the CSO facility construction to increase parkland in an underserved

neighborhood,

●  Design and construction of the portion of Thomas Greene Park that will be replaced,

●  Retention and restoration of historic structures,

●  Visual and safe physical access to the waterfront, and

●  Design of the CSO facility.

You can download a copy of the full resolution, including relevant background information, here: CAG Resolution Community Visioning Process at the North End of the Gowanus Canal 180327

At its March 27, 2018 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group resolved to formally request that the EPA install, or direct the installation of, signage around the Gowanus Superfund site warning against consuming fish taken from the Gowanus Canal.

The resolution, addressed to Christos Tsiamis, Senior Project Manager, Gowanus Canal Project U.S. EPA Region 2, reads as follows:

The Gowanus CAG is hereby requesting the EPA install or cause to be installed Fish-Consumption Warning Signage around the Gowanus Superfund site. We ask that such warnings be placed in reasonable likely fishing locations and at each public access location where people can easily make physical contact with the canal waters; and we ask that there be a minimum of 12 signs installed along the Gowanus Superfund site. We also ask that such signage be posted in English and Spanish with clear universal graphics.

We understand that this is a reasonable action as such signage has been installed in other Superfund sites and provide one example here, using simple two-color printing on a white metal panel. We ask that the text provide specific information for the Gowanus Superfund site.

You can download a copy of the full memorandum, including a photograph of a sample sign, here: CAG Resolution Fish-Consumption Signage 180327

At its March 27, 2018 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution asking that the EPA ensure strict adherence to the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement governing the contract for demolition pertaining to the Gowanus Station building.

The resolution, addressed to Christos Tsiamis, Senior Project Manager, Gowanus Canal Project U.S. EPA Region 2, reads as follows:

RESOLVED BY THE GOWANUS CAG; that the EPA ensure all and any actions the DEP takes following possession of the properties, specifically those actions defined within any Contract for Demolition,be held primarily accountable to the details set forth within the MOA; and further, that the NYC DEP-issued Contract for Demolition include such language that will require adherence to the parameters set forth within the MOA.

You can download a copy of the full resolution, including relevant background information, here: CAG Resolution Creation of Section 106 MOA 180327

At its March 27, 2018 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution seeking the preservation of the Water Supply Distribution Building at 234 Nevins Street, which occupies a portion of the site potentially slated for construction of large combined-sewer-overflow retention tank.

The resolution, addressed to Christos Tsiamis, Senior Project Manager, Gowanus Canal Project U.S. EPA Region 2, reads as follows:

Resolved, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) requests that DEP engage in further site and engineering analysis investigations into the Gowanus Station building’s structural integrity and consult with experts in preserving historic structures adjacent to construction sites using best efforts to find a way to preserve Gowanus Station.

Before it gives any approval of DEP’s current Head-of-Canal CSO Tank design, EPA is advised that the Gowanus Station building is irreplaceable, is of value to the community, and the full 2-story structure that comprises the Station at the corner of Butler and Nevins must be maintained in its entirety.

The Gowanus CAG reserves its rights to provide EPA and DEP with further input regarding the proposed Head-of-Canal CSO tank site, including as to mitigation should the agencies disregard the wishes of the CAG as set forth in this resolution and proceed toward demolition of any part of Gowanus Station.

You can download a copy of the full resolution, including relevant background information, here: CAG Resolution Preservation of Water Supply Distribution Building at 234 Butler Street 180327

At its March 27, 2018 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed a resolution requesting support from state elected officials for a bill currently before the legislature that seeks to ban single-use plastic bags.

The resolution, addressed to local State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and local Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, as well as members of the State Senate’s Environment Committee and the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, reads as follows:

Discarded single-use plastic bags pose a considerable problem in our local urban waterways. As we move towards cleanup actions in the Gowanus Canal, we have already noticed the extent of plastic bags included in recent dredging actions. The EPA has made the community aware of the need to bring about a change in community management of surface trash released into the waterway. We realize that the continued use of single-use plastic bags poses risks of recontamination of the Gowanus Canal after Superfund Cleanup measures are complete.

As a means of support on this matter, we are asking that you support the enactment of proposed legislation (S7760/A9953), sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Englebright and State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger, which would place a ban on plastic carryout bags. This bill aligns with recommendations made by the NYC DEC Plastic Bag Task Force. We feel enacting this bill is a necessary step to eliminate the environmental harm resulting from these single-use plastic bags, particularly as they affect the public water ways and risk contributing to recontamination of the Gowanus Canal after Superfund Cleanup measures are complete.

You can download a copy of the full resolution here: CAG Resolution_Single Use Plastic Bags_180327

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, in the offices of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy at 543 Union Street.

Committee Members present:

David Briggs
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Hildegaard Link
Andrea Parker
Peter Reich
Maryann Young
Sue Wolfe

Item 1

The CB6 amendment to its conditional approval of the CSO facility ULURP application.

Action

Dave will circulate it to the committee.

Item 2

Resolution regarding a community-visioning process for the north end of the canal that addresses the following: CSO facility siting, DCP zoning framework, adverse impacts of project, coal tar remediation below Thomas Greene Park pool, possible siting of CSO facility in park if properties are not acquired by April 2020, and future disposition of Eastern Effects site.

Action

Dave will draft resolution for discussion.

Item 3

Andrea noted that as per updated communications plan resolutions are to be distributed by committees.

Action

Dave will reach out to Doug to see if he is still distributing resolutions.