Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, in partnership with the offices of Representative Dan Goldman, Senator Andrew Gounardes, and Council Member Shahana Hanif, will host a community forum with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York State Department of Health (DOH), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the ongoing Brownfields Project. They will specifically be discussing the Soil Vapor Testing that is taking place. This forum is a space for those new to the Gowanus cleanup to come and ask their questions and learn more about the project. The community forum will be held on January 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wyckoff Gardens Community Center, 280 Wyckoff St, Brooklyn 11217.

Please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/JAS52

Contractors working under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are in the process of installing the final components of the protective cap that will protect the Gowanus Canal from recontamination and restore the canal bed as an attractive habitat for marine life. You can read about this work, and other news, in the EPA’s Community Update #5, embedded below and available as a PDF here.

Para obtener una versión en español, haga clic aquí.

At its October 24, 2023 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution, initiated by the Land Use Committee, asking U.S. EPA Region 2 to assume responsibility for remediating the entirety of the former Citizens Manufactured Gas Plant site under the auspices of the Gowanus Superfund cleanup, due to the ongoing inability of National Grid and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to gain access to the site’s Parcel 4.

The resolution reads as follows:

Background:

It has come to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s (CAG) attention that National Grid and NYSDEC (DEC) have not been able to gain access to Parcel 4 (Bklyn Block 468, Lot 25) of the former Citizens MGP Works site for several years because the property owner refuses to allow access to the property. This prevents National Grid and DEC from performing sampling of the existing monitoring wells and implementing DEC’s approved Supplemental Soil Investigation Work Plan as part of NYSDEC’s Superfund Program. The CAG understands that Parcel 4 remains heavily polluted with cancer-causing substances harmful to the community.

It is thus resolved that:

– due to DEC and National Grid’s inability to gain access to Parcel 4 to perform crucial environmental work on the site, and;

– given the fact that the site remains polluted and that Parcels 1, 2 and 3 have not been remediated to “pre-disposal” conditions according to New York State Law and;

– according to a 2005 report on Public Place by GEI that documents that coal tar and other toxins have already moved off Parcel 4 and have been detected along 4th Street, on Hoyt Street and are flowing towards the Gowanus Canal and;

– due to the four sites’ extremely high ground water levels, recent flooding in the area and subsurface intrusion that may have occurred in neighboring buildings where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may have entered as vapors or as groundwater and may be volatilizing in the buildings,

CAG thus points out not only the real risk of recontamination between Parcel 4 and the other three former Citizens MGP Works site parcels, butmore importantly, the likelihood of recontamination of the EPA’s Gowanus Canal Superfund site.

Read more »

Please join us for our October 2023 General Meeting, on Tuesday, October 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., conducted via Zoom video conference.

In order to join the meeting, you must pre-register, here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYkcOCgqjkoH90-v5NGc7ArmMMT5UIbzsLg

DRAFT AGENDA (all times are approximate)

6:30 – 6:45 p.m.: Welcome and CAG Member Introductions

6:45 – 7:15 p.m.: EPA Updates and CAG Q&A

7:15 – 7:45 p.m.: Land Use Committee Proposed Resolution on Former Citizens MGP Works Site

7:45 – 8:00 p.m.: Public Comment/Questions

8:00 – 8:30 p.m.: CAG Business and Committee Updates

  • Administrative Committee
  • Archaeology and Historic Preservation Committee
  • Land Use Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Water Quality/Technical Committee

8:30 p.m.: Adjourn

8:35 p.m.: Prospective Members Interviews

Guests are always welcome to comment and ask questions using the chat function. The next Gowanus CAG Meeting will be on Tuesday, November 28.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has scheduled a community availability session on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at PS 372, 512 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, at which it will discuss the community-wide investigation and cleanup activities planned for Brownfield sites in the Gowanus area.

You can find more information about the session, and ongoing cleanup efforts in the Gowanus neighborhood, here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/gowanusupdate0923.pdf.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Administrative Committee met via Zoom conference on Friday, September 15, at 3:00 p.m.

Committee members attending:
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Rita Miller

The committee discussed five membership applications submitted between 2019 and 2021. These applicants will be contacted by Admin to see if they are still interested in CAG membership. If any or all of them are still interested, they will be reviewed at an Admin Committee meeting in October, exact date to be determined.

The committee reviews the following three applicants from 2023:

Danny Smith – recommended by committee
Allen Bullock – committee conflicted with no hard recommendation
Chris Girgenti – recommended by committee

Proposal by Admin to the general CAG:

That EPA provide a Zoom account for the CAG where all general and/or committee meetings may be recorded and stored for access by all CAG members. May also be stored on the website for all.

A reminder to the general CAG that the CAG Charter, including both addendums as they were approved, are now listed chronologically on the website.

Admin wlll resend the FAQ’s re:CAG membership to Eric and Celeste at Outreach. These were FAQ’s submitted to Outreach a while back for possible inclusion on the CAG website (only after full CAG approval, of course).

Finally, CAG general meetings have really not included a comment period for the public since we began exclusively using Zoom. It is an important component of the general meeting to include the community’s remarks, questions and concerns. Admin would like to see a block of time included in the general meeting agenda for publc comment.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a new community update regarding Brownfield and State Superfund cleanup activities around the Gowanus Canal.

The update includes information on a public availability session that NYS DEC and the NYS Department of Health will hold on the evening of October 3rd, and details on plans for soil vapor intrusion investigation in locations surrounding the canal.

Click the image below to access a PDF version of the full four-page community update, or visit this link: https://gowanuscag.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/NYSDECGowanusUpdate0923.pdf.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a response to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group last month to a letter sent in March by the CAG’s Land Use Committee requesting more information on a number of topics, including the migration and dangers of coal tar beneath the Gowanus Canal and nearby sites, potential plans for air monitoring, requests for a hydrology study, and more.

You can read the NYSDEC response in full below.