The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group, at its meeting of June 24, 2014, passed the following resolution:
The Gowanus CAG, established by the EPA, which represents a cross section of residents, businesses and civic organizations in and around the Gowanus Canal corridor, demand that New York City as one of the Responsible Parties, as defined by the EPA, actively and cooperatively work with the EPA on all aspects which they are accountable for as required by the Gowanus Record of Decision (ROD), but especially for the timely determining the number(s), size and location(s), and design engineering of the required sewage retention tanks.
To date, the City’s positions/policies concerning the Gowanus Canal and the ROD and their participation in the initial design phase and cooperation with the EPA has not produced the positive results that are required for the clean-up the Gowanus Canal to proceed within the proposed schedule. The Gowanus CAG was alarmed by the recent consent order issued by the EPA against the City of New York that would be an unnecessary expense for New York City tax payers. If New York City fails or refuses participate in the planning phase, the EPA under current law can and will charge the City three times (3X) the cost to plan and build the retention tanks.
On June 23, 2014, the City of New York responded to the EPA in regard to the Unilateral Administrative Order for Remedial Design issued by the EPA to the City on May 28, 2014.
On May 27, 2014, the EPA sent a letter to New York City warning that it may be compelled to order the City to perform certain Remedial Design actions if negotiations do not move forward to the EPA’s satisfaction.
On Wednesday, May 28, the US Environmental Protection Agency issued a Unilateral Order to the City of New York that compels the City to begin design work for the remedial actions described in the EPA’s Record of Decision (ROD) for the Gowanus Canal, which was signed last year.
Specifically, the EPA’s Order compels New York City to perform the design for siting and building the CSO retention tanks intended to reduce sewage overflows into the Canal, and for the excavation and restoration of the 1st Street Basin, as described in the ROD. The order also asks the City to cooperate and coordinate with the other responsible parties for the dredging and capping portion of the ROD remedy.
CAG Responds to NYS Department of Health’s Draft Public Health Assessment
On February 1, 2014, the New York State Department of Health released its Public Health Assessment for the Gowanus Canal. At the March 25th CAG meeting, the DOH presented their findings to the CAG and responded to questions about the draft report. The CAG prepared written comments that were submitted to the Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation during the comment period.
CAG comments: GowanusCAG_HealthAssessmentComments-1
The NYS DOH Public Health Assessment: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/investigation/gowanus/
The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) is a forum for information and dialogue between representatives of the community and the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection (US EPA) about the Superfund clean-up of the Gowanus Canal. The Gowanus CAG, sanctioned and supported by the EPA, was formed in 2010 soon after the Gowanus Canal was designated a Superfund site.
The Gowanus Canal CAG is one of the largest, most active in the United States and is made up of over 50 representatives from civic, environmental, business and community organizations as well as individual members, all of whom are stakeholders in the community around the Gowanus Canal and impacted by the EPA’s Superfund process.
The Gowanus Canal CAG activities include reviewing EPA materials, studies and recommendations, as well as examining related issues of concern surrounding the Canal. The CAG adopts positions that members vote upon, acting as a communication link with the EPA and an inclusive voice for the community. The CAG is comprised entirely of volunteer members, who strive to understand the issues and disseminate this information to the community at large.
Please join us at monthly General CAG and committee meetings, all of which are open to the public. (see calendar).
For more information on EPA CAGs: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/community/cag/whatis.htm