The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday issued an administrative order compelling the City of New York to construct two sewage retention tanks to control discharges into the Gowanus Canal. The move follows previous orders issued in 2014 and 2016 that mandated that the city find locations for, and design the tanks, respectively.
The new order includes a requirement that the city construct a new bulkhead at the “Salt Lot” site of the smaller tank, and mandates new schedule benchmarks, citing the city’s noncompliance with previous milestones laid out in the 2014 order.
The EPA has ordered New York City to construct an eight-million-gallon tank, the “RH-034 tank,” which refers to the site of a sewer outfall, near the head end of the Gowanus Canal, and a second four-million-gallon tank, the “OH-007 tank,” on the Salt Lot near the Canal’s Fifth Street basin. The tanks are intended to capture sewage during heavy rainfall events that would otherwise discharge directly into the Canal and threaten the integrity of the Superfund cleanup.