On January 25, 2021, EPA was informed that a barge of dredged material from the Gowanus Canal Superfund site cleanup that was moored in Gowanus Bay had sunk. Cashman, a contractor for the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) for the Gowanus site in Brooklyn, NY, has mobilized pumps, booms, and silt curtains to the location and pumped water from the sunken barge into a separate, empty barge during periods of lower tide. Operations for stabilizing the barge will continue today. Dredging activities have been temporarily suspended so that crews can concentrate on operations to secure the barge.
EPA is consulting with the PRPs and is actively investigating the incident to determine the cause, whether contaminated sediment was released into the water, and to determine appropriate next steps. EPA’s goals are to do all that we can do to ensure that this type of mishap does not happen again and that any impacts from yesterday’s accident are appropriately and promptly addressed. EPA will update the public as more information becomes available.