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At its January 26, 2021 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution expressing support for the EPA Region 2 team tasked with leading the Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup.

The resolution reads as follows:

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) strongly supports Walter Mugdan and his Superfund Cleanup Team, Christos Tsiamis, Brian Carr and Natalie Loney for their excellent work in providing the best solution for the remediation of the Gowanus Canal and adjacent sources of contamination. In addition, the CAG appreciates the clarity that Mr. Tsiamis provided in our December 1st General CAG meeting where he gave an overview of the extent of the coal tar contamination at Public Pace based on NYS DEC’s own Remediation database and explained the differences between the 2007 Voluntary Cleanup Program and the Brownfield Cleanup currently being implemented. The CAG continues to be thankful to Mr. Tsiamis for sharing his extensive knowledge of the issues around the canal and the contamination of Public Place.

NYSDEC Site Remediation Database for Public Place states: “The site is underlain by a deep sand deposit, which has enabled the coal tar released from the former MGP to migrate both vertically and horizontally. Two other MGPs are also located nearby, and it is not always possible to tell where the tar plume from one site ends and the next begins.” “The site is heavily contaminated with MGP residuals, including coal tar and petroleum products. The principal contaminant is coal tar, which is present as a non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) throughout the portion of the site that borders the canal. Contaminants are impacting the soil, groundwater and soil gas. Contamination is present to depths of at least 120 feet below grade, and has been observed migrating off-site at depth. The nearest environmental receptor is the Gowanus Canal, where significant discharges of coal tar can be seen during low tide periods. Active coal tar seeps are found in two locations along the canal; under extreme low tide conditions, these seeps can cover a several hundred-foot reach of the canal with slicks and sheens. The canal is used as a recreational resource by kayakers and canoers. Based on the heavy contamination at the site, NYSDEC has determined that the site poses a significant threat to human health and the environment.”

Click here to see a PDF version of the full resolution.

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