The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin dredging operations in the main channel of the Gowanus Canal north of the 3rd Street Bridge on November 16, 2020.

Dredging will begin just south of the Carroll Street bridge and will continue between the Carroll and Union Street bridges, followed by dredging north of the Union Street bridge and further dredging between the Carroll and 3rd Street bridges. An excavator mounted on a platform barge will remove contaminated sediment from the bottom of the canal.

Click the image below to see the complete EPA Fact Sheet for the Phase 1 dredging of the upper canal.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

CAG Members present:

David Briggs
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Hildegaard Link
Steve Marcus
Margaret Maugenest
Rita Miller
Andrea Parker
Brad Vogel
Maryann Young

Guests:

Jo Corona
Owen Foote
Brad Hamilton
Maria Hodermarska
Sandye Renz
Miranda Sielaff
Talli Somekh
Terri Thomson (National Grid)

Open Items:

Item 1

Peter Reich had asked a question regarding land ownership at the waterfront where the canal will be narrowed to accommodate new bulkhead installation. Who will own the area between the old bulkhead and the new bulkhead? How will this additional area be factored into open space requirements for future zoning and development?

Action

Based on a conversation with the Department of City Planning in July, Dave reported that: a) any bulkhead encroachment will not increase building FAR, b) property will be owned by the City but may be maintained by property owner (they will decide this on a case-by-case basis), c) City will indemnify property owner for its use/access of property, and d) depth of encroachment will be added to required esplanade depth.

Item 2

Brad inquired if reduced NYC budget will impact the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s headhouse design and construction cost.

Action

EPA shared correspondence between it and DEP regarding the timeline. Andrea reported that the Water Quality Committee is drafting a resolution in response to the correspondence. No discussion about how the City’s reduced budget will impact the design and construction cost of the retention tank facilities.

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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

CAG Members present:

David Briggs
Louis Kleinman
Steve Marcus
Andrea Parker
Peter Reich
Brad Vogel
Sue Wolfe
Maryann Young

Guests:

Terri Thomson (National Grid)

Open Items:

Item 1

5th Street turning basin (carried over from August meeting). The current draft of the resolution was reviewed with a discussion on who would pay for the construction and maintenance of the new bulkheads.

Action

Revisions were approved. Andrea and Brad will finalize the language and submit it for a vote at the September CAG meeting.

Item 2

Gowanuslands presentation for new park at Public Place. Dave voiced his objections to the committee’s August decision to invite Gowanuslands for a CAG presentation. In Dave’s opinion, the proposed park is outside the purview of the CAG, since it does not propose any Superfund remediation strategies.

Action

None required.

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Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto, a founding member for the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group who represented the Carroll Gardens Association on the CAG, passed away on Friday, September 11, 2020, at the age of 91.

Buddy was a long-time advocate for the cleanup and restoration of the Gowanus Canal, among many other community-minded endeavors. He founded the Carroll Gardens Association, and was the second-generation owner and funeral director of the Scotto Funeral Home.

We extend our condolences to Buddy’s family and many friends. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that those so inclined donate in Buddy’s memory to the Carroll Gardens Association, Inc., 201 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Brooklyn Paper published lengthy obituaries remembering Buddy’s life and work.

Buddy Scotto in 2016 (Photo: Andy Katz, Brooklyn Eagle).

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

CAG Members present:

Nathan Elbogen
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Hildegaard Link
Steve Marcus
Rita Miller
Amy Motzny
Andrea Parker
Peter Reich
Brad Vogel
Sue Wolfe
Maryann Young

Guests:

Jack Riccobono
Mac Thayer
Terri Thomson (National Grid)

Item 1

Mac Thayer gives a presentation on Gowanuslands.

  • Gowanuslands founded in May 2020 
  • Goal is to provide access to open space in Gowanus 
  • 700 people have signed a petition to support a park on the Citizens MGP site 
  • Renderings show open park space and simple esplanade without railings 
  • Gowanuslands said that they’ve thought about flooding but presentation did not elaborate on specifics 
  • Gowanuslands next steps:
    • Begin engagement with elected officials
    • Request DCAS provide agency jurisdiction assignment letter to NYC Parks 
    • Engage w/ NYC Parks on design and timeline 
    • ID funding for private site purchase from Nat. Grid
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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

CAG Members present:

David Briggs
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Hildegaard Link
Steve Marcus
Andrea Parker
Peter Reich
Triada Samaras
Brad Vogel
Sue Wolfe
Maryann Young

Guests:

Terri Thomson (National Grid)

Open Items

Item 1

5th Street turning basin (carried over from February meeting).
Brad drafted a resolution for the CAG to request the entirety of the former 5th Street turning basin (located at the east side of the Third Avenue bridge) be excavated during the course of the Superfund cleanup. The turning basin aligns with the 4th Street turning basin directly south of Whole Foods on the west side of the bridge.

Action

Dave suggested adding a map and clarification on the turning basin’s location to the resolution. It was decided that Brad, Andrea, and Mike of Riverkeeper will contact Christos Tsiamis of the EPA about the following:

  1. How did EPA arrive at an excavation length of 25’, as currently planned?
  2. How many borings were done and where? What were the results?

All agreed that since there is an ecological benefit for restoring the full length of the original turning basin, a strong case could be made to excavate it under NRDA requirements.

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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Water Quality/Technical Committee met via Zoom conference on Monday, May 4, 2020

Attendees:
Kelsey Butterworth
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
J. Marcus
Steve Marcus
Amy Motzny
Terri Thomson
Maryann Young
Susan Yung

Meeting Notes:

DEC Meeting Coordination for July 28th Meeting:

  • Committee looked over the CAG Questions for NYSDEC, NYSDOH, National Grid: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a68hjDnevDK5bLfMaGdJQvMWWQUDBWzXxe6INrbyyNE/edit?usp=sharing
  • Committee members are generally in agreement that the list of topics/questions are comprehensive 
  • There was some concern around future development plans and the list of CAG questions should further inquire about development on contaminated sites post-remediation including: Can you do development on these types of sites? Are there examples of relevant projects that have been completed? How is the floodplain being considered in terms of future development and what are the potential impacts?
  • Amy to update list of questions with thematic categories (for organization), add additional questions/concerns,  and condense for circulation to general CAG and DEC 
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