Gowanus Canal CAG Meeting
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street
Doug Sarno opened the meeting at 6:35.
Natalie Loney, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, presented the updates:
There hasn’t been much change since the last report. The 95% design report is due from the City on April 30. The wall design has been finalized. The 4th Street Basin artifacts that were extracted are not going to be disposed of. EPA is in negotiation to store material with a property owner in Red Hook, and those items will stay there safe until final disposition.
Questions & Answers
CAG: Where’s Christos?
EPA: Christos is not here because there aren’t major updates. He sent me instead.
CAG: Was under the impression he would come answer some specific questions at this meeting – sent by email.
EPA: We will work to make sure we have answers.
CAG: Is the EPA going to comment on the Gowanus EIS scoping?
EPA: Yes, it is our intent to comment on the EIS.
CAG: Are you going to testify on Thursday at the Public Scoping meeting?
EPA: We will probably send them in writing – I don’t think we plan to testify.
CAG: One of the questions to Christos was what the process would entail if we needed to amend the ROD (Record of Decision)?
EPA: There have been examples of ROD amendments and things that are a little more involved. I can’t give specifics because it’s speculative. It is determined by the level of complexity around changes to the remedy. A ROD amendment is not necessarily required.
CAG: Some were under the impression that opening the ROD will change things?
EPA: This is a Brian Carr question. We have had Superfund sites before where they had to do an Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD), this does not require reopening the ROD. I don’t know as all of this is still theoretical. EPA is not committing to a path because we have not gotten to that point yet.
CAG: When will work at the north end of the canal begin?
EPA: First section is supposed to begin in the next year or so.
CAG: Including the actual physical work on RTA1?
EPA: I assume it will.
CAG: And the cut-off wall construction?
EPA: I think those things will happen concurrently – if dredging is June 2020, the cut-off wall will be prior to that.
CAG: I know there was a date in the ROD that if the City’s management of sewage wasn’t sufficient, there would be further action, when is that supposed to happen?
EPA: If the bottom of the canal is clean but there is continued CSO, the City has to clean up to the level where it was before the change. It depends on when the tank remedy is implemented. The City would be responsible for cleaning up for the number of years following the monitoring and the EPA will make sure they do that.