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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Outreach Committee met on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at the offices of the Fifth Avenue Committee, at 621 Degraw Street.

CAG Attendees: Sabine Aronowsky, Christine Petro, Eric McClure, Jessica Roff

Guests: Natalie Loney, Benjamin Solotaire, Terri Thomson


– 90% design of RTA1 clean up
 – Can EPA produce fact sheet?

– 90% sewage tank design 
 – What is the public input process?
 – Can EPA produce fact sheet?

– Fulton Cut-Off wall 
 – any discussion needed? Do we want to ask about the tugboat sinking or any project updates?

– CAG 10th Anniversary
 – what are the goals? (re-engaging old members, engaging new members, celebrating milestones?)
 – What are the outputs?  report/event 
 – Who should be engaged? 

Natalie: According to Christos, the current plan is to start dredging during the fall of 2020.

Estimated two years to dredge and cap Remedial Target Area (RTA) 1, and if all goes well, subsequent two years each for RTA 2 and RTA 3. Same process and sequence of events as the pilot effort in the 4th Street Basin.

Can the CAG create a stand-alone RTA1 timeline? Probably more helpful than the full (and now cluttered) existing timeline document. Jessica suggests that the full timeline might work better as a tri-fold.

EPA will produce an RTA1 Fact Sheet at a point closer to the beginning of work. Cut-off wall construction should begin this month, and target completion is August 2020. Must be done before RTA1 cleanup work begins.

Tugboat for moving barges sunk. Bilge pump failed during heavy rain. It’s being replaced with a smaller tug.

Terri guesses that the Douglass & Degraw Pool will be open next summer. The pool can’t be closed until a temporary replacement is in place and available for use.

Elected officials are contemplating a construction task force for the CSO retention tank process.

Fulton MGP site website is updated every couple of weeks ( 

RH-34 CSO Retention Tank (head of the canal site) 90% design is complete. The project has an approximate 7-year timeline:

Construction Plan (CP)1 is site prep, etc.
CP2 is demolition and excavation
CP3 is superstructure.

Design for the head house has been approved by the Public Design Commission. Preservation of the Gowanus Station Building will retain 24 feet of the Nevins Street frontage, and 63 feet of the Butler Street frontage. Will serve as an exterior façade to the new building. Façade will be disassembled and reconstructed.

Last 10% of the design involves comments and approvals from EPA.

CM Levin’s office will host a February/March informational meeting to provide an overview of the CSO tank plan, construction process, 234 Butler preservation. Contingent on acceptance of the design by EPA.

Timing of cleanup of Thomas Greene Park is still very much up in the air. Remedy hasn’t been designed. Tank site and park are in close proximity. Entirety of work requires a large amount of synchronization.

National Grid is responsible for finding a site for the pool. North Gowanus Visioning Group will have a meeting on November 26th.  

EPA will produce a fact sheet for retention tank construction at the appropriate time. Also will create a fact sheet for 1st Street Basin restoration.

CAG 10th Anniversary

EPA is excited to mark this milestone. Look at the changes in the neighborhood from 2010 to 2020. The city was adamant that designation would stall development, and the picture today is very different.

Combination of ultra-super CAG meeting and a town hall, maybe even a poster session. Natalie will send us a 10th Anniversary wish list for our reaction. EPA probably looking at the 10th anniversary of site designation (c. March 2020), vs. CAG perspective of 10th anniversary of CAG (c. October 2020).

Next steps: invite Natalie, Benjamin and Terri back for January 16, 2020 Outreach Meeting. Discuss internally update to the timeline.

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