Gowanus Canal CAG Meeting
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street
Doug Sarno opened the meeting at 6:35 p.m.
Christos Tsiamis, Remedial Project Manager for EPA, presented the updates.
The 4th Street Basin Pilot Project
Planning on starting the dredging pilot by end of March. The new equipment for driving sheet piles was going to be available for a limited time. When vibratory hammers were initially used there were problems like cracks in the pavement and issues caused by the vibrations of the hammer. In the canal, near where we operate, the EPA wanted to use a piece of equipment that is a silent press. It has an arm and with sheer power pushes the sheet pile through the soil into the subsurface. There’s a small auger next to the sheet pile that softens the ground as it goes and creates minimal vibration. EPA was not able to use this equipment until the equipment became available. Began dredging Thursday and Friday of last week.
EPA learned that the equipment could come via barge and they suspended the dredging work and now they’re going to use the silent press. A 50-foot portion will be tried. A segment of sheet piles on the Whole Foods side had not been driven into depth yet and will be completed with the silent press approach. 350 cubic yards of sediment was dredged before suspending work for trials with the silent press. On Wednesday, March 28, we will start using the new equipment to become familiar with it. If possible, will conduct concurrent operations to dredge and install sheet pile simultaneously. It is a little complicated, but we like complicated. The pilot study started with some modifications. Began by working with National Grid to install the wall at the top of canal on the eastern side. EPA took over once sheet pile issues became clear and asked National Grid to use the silent press and that’s what is happening there. It is important for EPA to try this equipment at the 4th Street Basin, as this is the pilot study for the remainder of the dredging process.
Historical Preservation Analysis for Building at Nevins & Butler Street
EPA distributed the letter from the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in response to the last CAG meeting with an assessment of the City’s EIS. The SHPO letter stated that whatever is created, it has to be in the context of the historic district. In the last meeting with the city, EPA expressed vocally that they are not in agreement. Mainly, the height of the proposed building is too tall. Trying to find ways with NYC to reduce that height to fit with the surroundings in the area. EPA has asked for comments and then will at some point make a decision.
EPA is working with New York State regarding fish-consumption signs, and they have a sign prepared that will be circulated. Once EPA gets feedback, they will decide where the signs should be placed. There are also pamphlets from the New York State Department of Health about public health aspects of handling fish and wildlife.