At its June, 2016 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution, originally proposed by the CAG’s Water Quality/Technical Committee:

The CAG calls upon the EPA to develop a design solution at the head of the canal that presents no loss of the vital resource of marine habitat in this area as a result of the imposition or construction of the “engineered shoreline” or bulkheads.

At its May, 2016 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution, originally proposed by the CAG’s Land Use Committee, on the proposed siting of a retention tank, head house, and related facilities at the Salt Lot at 2nd Avenue and Fifth Street, adjacent to the Gowanus Canal:

Whereas the New York City Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] has proposed the siting of a four-million gallon retention tank at the Salt Lot to help mitigate the Combined Sewer Overflow [CSO] at the OH- 007 Outfall;

Whereas New York City [City] is initiating construction of a compost facility and salt storage facility [Facilities] either on or directly adjacent to the proposed retention tank site; and

Whereas the EPA Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group [CAG] is concerned that the construction of these Facilities will potentially impede the construction of the retention tank;

Resolved, that the CAG:

1. urges the DEP to facilitate and provide a schedule for the design and construction of the four-million gallon retention tank immediately so that it is completed prior to or simultaneously with the clean up remedy in Target Area #2; and

2. urges the City to postpone the installation of the Facilities until the retention tank is installed.


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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in the offices of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy at 543 Union Street.

CAG Members present: David Briggs, Marlene Donnelly, Rafael Gomez de Luna, Katia Kelly, Andrea Parker, Debra Scotto, Mark Shames

Item 1

Review of April 5, 2016 meeting minutes.


Minutes approved with comments.

Item 2

A draft resolution was presented and reviewed. The resolution addressed concerns raised in the previous meeting about the construction of a compost facility and salt storage shed at the Salt Lot, which is the planned site of a retention tank.


After some revisions, the committee unanimously accepted the resolution and agreed to present it to the CAG for approval.

Item 3

A resolution was discussed for addressing concerns raised by the draft EPA/DEP agreement for siting of the retention tanks.


After much conversation, all agreed that Dave will forward a couple of comments drafted by the committee to Andrea, Marlene, and Katia for possible inclusion in a resolution that will be drafted by the Water Quality/Technical Committee.

Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group Meeting
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street


Introductions and CAG Updates

  • Salvatore Basile (alternate for Gowanus Alliance moving forward)
  • Also present: Eastern Effects, 280 Nevins Street, Parsons Engineering, Geosyntec, National Grid, NYCHA Residents Committee, Mayor’s Office of Television and Film, Dan Wiley (representing Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez)
  • April minutes approved


Project Updates (Christos Tsiamis, Project Engineer, EPA)

Debris Removal at the 4th Street Turning Basin

  • This is the second pilot, next to Whole Foods; the first pilot was a year ago
  • Cannot have successful dredging without removing debris in the Canal
  • PRPs have joined efforts to clean up the Canal, including National Grid
  • At the next CAG meeting, EPA will make a presentation, with the City, about upcoming work at the 1st Street Basin
  • Both basin projects have an archaeological component (John Vetter, EPA consultant archaeologist, will touch on these issues following Geosyntec’s presentation)

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The Gowanus CAG Outreach Committee met on Thursday, May 13, 2016, with discussion focused on continuing development of the CAG’s Communications Plan.

CAG members present: Sabine Aronowsky, Katia Kelly, Eric McClure, Christine Petro.

EPA: Natalie Loney

Review of Outstanding Action Items

The group reviewed the action items from the April meeting.

The full CAG approved all four requests put forth by the Outreach Committee at the April general meeting:

  • Establishment of a CAG Twitter account (@GowanusCAG) to be used to push out information available on the CAG website, such as meeting dates and times, links to web posts and CAG news.

Eric reported that he had issued invitations to the Google Group to CAG members, activated the Twitter feed, and had posted the links to the Facebook and YouTube pages.  As agreed, the links to the EPA’s Gowanus Superfund Facebook page and the CAG’s YouTube page contain the following disclaimer:  “The contents of the EPA’s Gowanus Canal Facebook page/the Gowanus Canal CAG YouTube page are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gowanus Canal CAG.  We make no representations as to the accuracy of the information presented.”  The disclaimer appears when someone hovers over the links on the home page. Read more »

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Administrative Committee met on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at 9 a.m., at the CB6/Cobble Hill Community Room at 250 Baltic Street.

Committee Members Attending:
Jerry Armer
Ben Jones
Katia Kelly
Rita Miller

Maryann Young, CORD alternate

Admin Committee reviewed a membership application for Peter Reich. Applicant will be invited to attend next CAG general meeting for interview.

A committee member suggested that Admin consider presenting a recent statement issued to EPA by David Briggs and signed by many others regarding the pending agreement between NYC and the EPA, for approval as a press release by the full CAG. Admin approved the suggestion.

A committee member suggested reviewing and amending Charter bylaws regarding voting criteria. Admin will convene another meeting at a date to be announced to discuss.

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

Contact: Elias Rodriguez, (212)

(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 »