Gowanus Canal CAG Meeting
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street
Doug Sarno opened the meeting at 6:40.
The May meeting summary was approved with no revisions.
Christos Tsiamis, EPA Project Manager, presented the updates.
Two things have happened since last meeting:
- EPA received a proposal for the Fulton Wall. If you recall, EPA is overseeing National Grid for the construction of the Fulton Wall – we had our first meeting after we issued the order. National Grid has submitted a proposal, which we are currently reviewing and we’ll go on from there, so that process has begun.
- We finalized the order with the Power House for work we’re going to do there. EPA is overseeing the cleanup work we’ve deemed necessary with regard to the Power House being a potential source of contaminants to the Canal, and also building the bulkhead in front of that property to specifications so it will be able to withstand dredging. We’ve been coordinating closely with the state on the Power House project.
Over Memorial Day there was partial collapse of the bulkhead on the Lowe’s property. We understand the CAG has drafted some language regarding that collapse. Let me explain to you what happened – we were not there, but we were alerted by the community. Natalie and I went there the day after the collapse and inspected the area.
- Based on the inspection, I issued (through EPA Staff Attorney Brian Carr), a list of required actions that we asked Lowe’s to undertake, which includes the following:
- Put a turbidity curtain around the collapsed portion of the bulkhead so no further suspended matter goes into the Canal
- Remove all the large debris (big chunks of concrete and pieces of wood) from the Canal
- Stabilize the area and reconstruct the entire bulkhead at the Lowe’s property (recommended)
- Before the above, a plan for how they’re going to go about these actions
- EPA detected soil erosion behind the existing bulkhead. This is the right time to replace it, since EPA will eventually require them to put in a bulkhead that can withstand the dredging action (the request to reconstruct the bulkhead now is an accommodation). Lowe’s hired Langan Engineering and initial steps have already been taken (the debris is being cleaned up).
- With regard to the proposed language of the CAG resolution:
- From our inspection, I don’t know exactly how that bulkhead was constructed but it’s not really an engineered bulkhead; it’s a few layers of cribbing at best, not a bulkhead with deep foundations. At this stage we will require them to install an engineered bulkhead for dredging purposes.
- All bulkheads we’ve been installing (several so far) are engineered to do exactly what the CAG resolution says.