Update on necessary closures of the Union Street Bridge from the Gowanus Remediation Team:

Please be advised that the Union Street Bridge will be impassable to all roadway traffic between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., for up to five days a week, beginning March 8, 2022. The closures will be implemented on certain weekdays intermittently, based on the need to conduct specific
construction activities.

These closures are necessary to facilitate work being conducted in the canal by the Gowanus Remediation Team (GRT). Setting the bridge span in the open position (closed to roadway traffic) will allow GRT workers to remove and stabilize target sediments from the canal bed, and install new electrical cables that are a part of the bridge’s control system.

The daily closures will be implemented intermittently as needed until Fall 2022. The working hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. have been selected in order to minimize the inconvenience for pedestrians and motorists that will be unable to traverse the bridge while this work is in progress.

Please note that the Carroll Street Bridge is expected to remain closed to roadway traffic while this work at the Union Street Bridge is taking place.

For questions and concerns please reach out to the Gowanus Remediation Team at info@gowanussuperfund.com or call the hotline at (718) 403-2451.

At its February 22, 2022 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution initiated by the Water Quality/Technical Committee requesting that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection cooperate with US Environmental Protection Agency mandates regarding sewer-separation projects.

The resolution reads as follows:

Re: Requesting NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cooperation with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates regarding proposed sewer separation projects that are protective of the Superfund remedy, allowing direct discharge of stormwater flows where feasible for further reduction of combined sewer overflow impacts (CSO) as a result of new development in the Gowanus neighborhood.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) supports the EPA mandates outlined in paragraphs 73c (Stormwater Controls) and 73d (Separated Outfall Treatment Units) of the Executive Administrative Order (EAO) dated March 29, 2021, as affirmed in the June 2021 CAG resolution in support of EPA’s Administrative Order. The community sees benefits to allowing the direct discharge of stormwater flows where source-control measures for pollution control are in place, particularly at street-end sites along the Canal. Currently, most street ends drain downhill over land and flow directly into the Canal. If this stormwater is re-directed uphill into the already overburdened sewer infrastructure, it will lead to increased Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). From a water quality standpoint, with appropriate source controls that pre-treat stormwater before entering the waterway, direct discharge of stormwater is far less polluting than CSO.

With regards to a recent proposal submitted for the Huntington Street End site on the Gowanus Canal, the developer proposes to separate stormwater and sanitary flows at the developer-owned site and adjacent street end with EPA approved source-control pollution prevention, a Vortex Separator, installed and maintained by the developer. DEP has denied the permit application and directed the developer to instead construct a combined system, which adds both new sanitary and street-end stormwater volumes to the constrained combined sewer main capacity.

The CAG requests that DEP cooperate with EPA and work with them to implement the recent separated street stormwater plans submitted by the developer at the Huntington Street End site as well as implementing solutions for direct discharge on similar sites along the Canal. The CAG further requests acknowledgement of receipt with regards to this correspondence. If DEP objects to the CAG request, we kindly ask that the Department provide clear justification or reason within a timely manner.

Click here to view a PDF version of the full resolution.

On Thursday, February 10, at 7 p.m., the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host an online public-engagement meeting about the development of the Gowanus Canal “Owls Head” combined-sewer overflow facility planned for 2nd Avenue and 6th Street in Brooklyn.

DEP and the design team will provide a brief overview of the project goals and requirements, and then facilitate a community workshop to hear from the public. The community’s feedback will inform the design of the City’s facilities, as well as Big Reuse’s and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s facilities on the site, along with opportunities for public open space, programming, and ecosystem restoration.

DEP encourages advance registration for this meeting. For more information, and to register, please visit:


The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold informational briefings about the forthcoming Unified Stormwater Rule (USWR) on Monday, December 20th, at 4 p.m., and again on Tuesday, January 4th, at 10 a.m.

The proposed Unified Stormwater Rule amendments are now available for public review and comment. This rule includes amendments to Chapter 31 and Chapter 19 of the Admin Code, changing requirements for how stormwater is managed on all new and redevelopment sites that discharge to City sewers.  The rule includes a new Stormwater Manual to provide guidance for permit applicants.

The NYC Stormwater Manual is also available for review and comment. Comments and questions on the draft rules and the NYC Stormwater Manual can be submitted to nycrules@dep.nyc.gov.

If you’re interested in participating in the briefings, click on one of the dates below to be taken to the corresponding Eventbrite registration page.

Monday, December 20th at 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 4th at 10:00 a.m.

At its November 30, 2021 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution requesting that the EPA and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation take immediate action to prevent new pathogen loading in the waters of the Gowanus Canal by placing a moratorium on all new sewer hookups in the Gowanus sewer-shed.

The resolution reads as follows:

RE: Current regulatory limbo between EPA and DEC Water Quality Standards (WQS) for pathogen levels permitted in class “SD” waters of New York State, and the multi-party legal actions on this matter pending before the courts, as it affects the current regulation of Gowanus Canal water.

Background: EPA noted in the November 8th Water Quality/Technical Committee special meeting with EPA Clean Water Division members that the USEPA water standard for the Gowanus Canal and all class SD waters of the State of New York, has been a contact recreation water standard adopted by the EPA in 2015. We further learned:

  • USEPA was sued by Riverkeeper/Pace in 2017 under the APA for failure to act on reviewing and approving the new WQS.
  • USEPA completed WQS review in March of 2018 and disapproved NYS WQS for pathogens as not protective of a primary contact designated use EPA applied in 2015.
  • NYSDEC did not resolve the USEPA disapproval in promulgating new WQS, so USEPA is now in the process of doing so; results expected in July of 2022.
  • Given the USEPA disapproval of the state pathogen WQS, the NYS criterion used prior to the EPA 2015 rule is being allowed to stand even as the EPA affirms standing by the 2015 standards and is expected to release EPA pathogen standards in 2022.
  • This means the Upper Gowanus remains designated SD which has no pathogen standard applied, and that all current planning under the City’s rezoning EIS is based upon WQS which are currently under dispute and which the EPA has stated they do not uphold.
  • And given the pathogen loads in Gowanus routinely run beyond contact-recreation-use standards as seen in this year of weekly citizen science data documented in Gowanus water by Riverkeeper.

The Members of the Gowanus CAG here Resolve:

Given the current regulatory limbo, the Gowanus CAG requests that USEPA and NYSDEC take immediate action to prevent new pathogen loading in the waters of the Gowanus by placing a moratorium on all new sewer-hookup in the Gowanus sewer-shed.

The moratorium should stay in place until:

–all disputes before the courts are resolved,
–the EPA releases their Clean Water Standards for pathogens for 2022
–and enforcement policies are in place to ensure the Federal Clean Water Law is properly applied in waters of the Gowanus Canal.

Click here to see a PDF version of the complete resolution.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Admin Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, November 23rd, at 10:00 a.m.

Committee members attending:
Jerry Armer
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Margaret Maugenest
Rita Miller

Discussed survey results which show no representation for the NYCHA houses nor representation for the wider Red Hook Community. Suggesting that Outreach make attempts to seek more participation; also suggesting that perhaps CAG member George Fiala could help get the word out in the community as well.

Some members did not list a committee affiliation. These include:

Joseph Alexiou
Nathan Elbogen/Ariel Krasnow – The Old American Can Factory
Ashley Privett

These members should choose a committee and attend two meetings in a row to establish membership.

Two members have not responded to repeated requests to complete the survey:

Jennifer Jones
Mike Song

Diane Buxbaum (At-Large) indicated verbally that she still wishes to serve and lists her committees as Archaeology and Water Quality.

Admin suggests removal of Ms. Jones and Mr. Song and will seek general CAG approval.

Admin also suggests that Doug clean up the CAG MEMBERS email list to include only active members.

Former members can be left on the wider contact list.

For next year, perhaps Doug could send out a notice to CAG members that a survey will be coming to them and to look out for it and respond. 

On November 3, 2021, US EPA Region 2 Superfund and Emergency Management Division Director Pat Evangelista responded to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s resolution requesting a new site assessment of the former Citizens Manufactured Gas Plant site for a Hazard Ranking System evaluation and its potential inclusion on the National Priorities List.

The full letter is posted below, and can be downloaded here.

The Gowanus CAG’s Outreach Committee held a Zoom meeting on Monday, October 25th, at 12:30 p.m.

Outreach Committee members present:
Louis Kleinman
Eric McClure
Christine Petro

Other CAG members present: Michelle de la Uz
George Fiala
Linda LaViolette
Hildegaard Link
Susan Yung

EPA: Natalie Loney

Guest: Dan Wiley (District Director for Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez)


• Review past Superfund Town Hall scopes and purpose (Nov 2017, May 2019)
• What are the questions Land Use has? What is within CAG scope?
• Discuss CAG capacity for planning and executing an event
• Considerations for event timing/scheduling
• Next Steps & Meeting Schedule

Read more »

At its September 28, 2021 general meeting, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group passed the following resolution requesting that EPA conduct a new assessment of chemical contamination at the Citizens MGP site bordering the Gowanus Canal.

The resolution reads as follows:

In accordance with Section 105(d) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (the CAG) requests USEPA Region 2 to undertake a revised assessment of chemical contamination present at and potentially being released from the entire former Citizens Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) Site for a Hazard Ranking Score and potential inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) as a Federal Superfund site.

Be it further Resolved:
Although preliminary assessment has been conducted and various plans have been presented at different times to the Community regarding the cleanup, the CAG is dissatisfied with NYSDEC’s latest version of the Public Place property cleanup.

We believe that the current plan represents a significant downgrade in cleanup from the previous plan, and neither properly addresses nor satisfactorily remedies the contamination and toxicity at the former Citizens MGP Site for not only to the Gowanus Canal, but also to the community at large.

Since there are plans to develop the Public Place property into a densely populated housing complex and a school, the CAG considers the EPA the sole, appropriate agency to assess, score and truly rank the hazards this site presents. Our wish is that this site be added to the National Priorities List and remediated under the EPA Superfund Program.

Click here to see a PDF version of the complete resolution.