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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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

CAG Members present:

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

Guests:

Terri Thomson (National Grid)
Taeka Haraguchi (NYC Comptroller’s Office)

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) to 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.

Read more »

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

Attendees:
Kelsey Butterworth
Diane Buxbaum
Marlene Donnelly
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Richard Lawrence
Amy Motzny
Peter Reich
Chrissy Remein
Terri Thomson
Maryann Young
Susan Yung

Meeting Notes:

WQ/Tech Committee Meeting Logistics: 

  • After some discussion, it was unanimously decided that the Water Quality/Technical Committee will pursue future meetings as scheduled during their originally agreed upon date and time, the first Monday of every month at 7:00 pm. 
  • Until further notice, these meetings will be held virtually via Zoom. Amy will set up technical logistics for this until in-person meeting can resume. 
  • Katia and Richard will coordinate with the Archaeology Committee to request future Archaeology meetings resume during their originally agreed upon date and time, the first Monday of every month at 6:00 pm, and potentially share Zoom login credentials. 
  • Amy to follow-up with Doug Sarno on this communication 

Follow-up on EPA Updates and April 28th General CAG Presentation: 

  • Following up on EPA’s presentation to the general CAG, the committee discussed CAG recommendations for EPA to consider as they move forward with clean-up activities including: 
    • The 1st Street Turning Basin, which will be a major benefit to the community, but presents an opportunity to do more as bulkhead construction throughout the Canal results in a narrowing of the waterway. Moving forward, the committee seeks to: 
      • Support the Land Use Committee’s proposal to extend excavation and restoration of the 5th Street Turning Basin 
      • Follow up with EPA on questions regarding land ownership at the waterfront where the canal will be filled to accommodate bulkhead installation 
        • Who owns this land? How will this additional waterfront area be factored into open space requirements for future zoning and development? 
      • Committee members to bring these topics to the Land Use Committee meeting on May 5th.
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