The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced that it had finalized an agreement with New York City for the siting and design of an 8,000,000-gallon retention tank at the head end of the Gowanus Canal, intended to significantly reduce the flow of untreated waste water into the canal during combined sewer overflow events.
The EPA’s full press release is below.
EPA Finalizes Agreement with New York City on Combined Sewer Overflow Tank Design
(New York, N.Y. – June 9, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized an agreement with the City of New York that secures the design of the larger of two combined sewage and storm water overflow (CSO) retention tanks, which are key components of the Gowanus Canal cleanup, including both the tank’s size and location. It also requires New York City to undertake activities to prepare that location for the tank installation and to pay EPA’s oversight costs. Prior to finalizing the agreement with New York City, the EPA accepted comments from the public for 45 days and attended two Brooklyn community meetings to explain the proposal. A response to the public comments has been issued with the final order.
The final administrative agreement and order released today allows New York City to locate an eight million gallon retention tank in New York City’s preferred location, known as the “Head-of-Canal” location, but it also holds the city to a strict schedule with monetary penalties imposed if violations of the schedule occur. Also, the EPA can require New York City to place the tank in the Thomas Greene Park location instead if certain activities do not occur on schedule, including if New York City is not able to acquire the land at the Head-of-Canal location within approximately four years. Locations for staging and other work related to the construction of the 8 million gallon retention tank will be acquired by New York City as part of the ongoing design phase of the project.
“The New York City Parks Department prefers not to have a large sewage retention tank permanently located in a city park,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “The EPA is committed to preserving urban parkland and worked with the City of New York on this alternate location. This alternate location meets the dual goals of cleaning up the canal while also protecting urban parkland.” Read more »