Gowanus Canal CAG Meeting
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Mary Star of the Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street
- September minutes approved.
- A petition to rename part of Union Street to Bette Stoltz Way was distributed.
- Message from former CAG member Angela Murphy – she misses the CAG.
- Admin Committee requests response to this year’s member survey.
- Newtown Creek CAG will put together an informal meeting of area CAG groups early next year.
- EPA has started the debris removal study and will use the results in planning the overall Canal cleanup.
- The subcontractors on this project got a late start. The original plan was to take all debris to the staging area but that would really delay the process. The new approach is to ask National Grid to bring a staging barge to the project area; they started removing debris on Monday. Once they finish loading, the debris will be taken for disposal. They expect to finish before Thanksgiving.
- EPA will continue with the next stages – dredging of soft material and capping, along with some support of bulkheads. That work will be finished by the end of 2017. Then we will have all of the information to start planning for the start of dredging at the top of the Canal.
- Air-monitoring stations near Whole Foods are monitoring emissions that may be coming from the work; we are monitoring for volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, ammonia, and dust particulates – we get readings every 15 minutes. EPA had four days of air-quality measurements before beginning on Monday, which are being used to establish background levels. After two days of operation, EPA has not noticed any incidents.
- EPA is removing targeted debris (from a previous sonar scan of the bottom). We’re going to use regular dredging buckets along the Canal. At the bridge, we’re going to use different techniques in order to not damage the structure.
- One private party will be replacing their bulkhead (the new owner of the scrap-metal operation in the southern part of the basin). A Cube Smart self-storage facility will be going up there.
- Over the summer, EPA will work at the extension of the 4th Street basin and the 5th street basin. We will excavate and restore the basin to 20 feet beyond the 3rd Avenue bridge (we have flexibility to adjust that length). EPA has conducted an investigation with National Grid and went over 100 feet further from the point of the sample. Right now, we are interpreting the results.
- EPA found some petroleum contamination at the 30-foot layer. This geological layer has a high quantity of organic matter. We are assessing the extent and will update the CAG once we’ve come to conclusions and decisions.
- EPA is working with the city to open and restore the 1st Street basin. Land Use Committee recommendations, approved by the CAG, have been sent to the City. We will try to address the following points: to support marine life and wet-life species. We can provide areas to support marine life at the bottom of the Canal – it doesn’t necessarily need to be in the bulkheads. There are recommendations for a shelf on the Power House side, which would be a habitat. The proposed width is 10 feet. There’s also a possibility of a 20-foot wide shelf (the whole basin is 50 feet wide).