The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group adopted the following resolution at its April, 2015 General Meeting:
On Friday, April 3, 2015, the NYSDEC announced the release of a Proposed Remediation Action Plan (PRAP) addressing Contamination at the Fulton Municipal Works Site adjacent to the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. On Thursday, April 16, the DEC held a public meeting to present the plan.
The CAG has made the following general observations:
- The Fulton MGP site and the Upper section of Gowanus Canal Superfund site require environmental remediation as a result of the same toxic source – the old gas-plant structures located on and near the western section of the present-day Thomas Greene Park.
- There are currently two separate government agencies overseeing various, and overlapping, aspects of the remedial work addressing these toxic source materials – EPA at the canal and NYSDEC on the land. National Grid is the responsible party for all aspects of the coal-tar remedial work. National Grid will carry out the cleanup work, which will likely be preformed by the same contractors taking direction from both the federal EPA and from the state DEC.
- Cleanup Action Plans under the EPA and DEC propose similar tasks of source removal, containment, and disposal, which are being addressed differently by each agency. Coordination and consolidation of work would reduce impacts on the community and contain costs for National Grid.
- Based on the release of the DEC PRAP and the public presentation on April 16, the CAG does not see a cooperative relationship between the EPA and the DEC which would lead to the best possible outcome for the community.
- We believe this current, multi-government agency approach is detrimental to achieving a cleanup which is effective, limits impacts on community, and manages costs. We do not believe that under the current process, the community is getting the best cleanup action plan for the Fulton MGP site.
In order to best address source contamination from the Fulton MGP, the CAG asks the EPA to take over as the primary agency handling all aspects of the remedial work at the Fulton MGP Site.
The goals in doing this are:
- to achieve one clear cleanup plan,
- to have a clear line of communication for both the public and the PRP doing the work,
- to best coordinate and streamline remedial tasks such as source removal containment, and disposal, along with bulkhead construction and canal dredging,
- to better manage and reduce timeline
- to better manage impacts on the community
- to best contain costs