Monday, February 11, 2013

EPA Extends Gowanus Canal Superfund Comment Period For Clean-Up Plan. Hosts Two Important Meetings This Week

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A few important announcements from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Gowanus Canal Superfund.
First, the agency has just extended the public comment period another 30 days so that the community  has more time to weigh in on the  Proposed Clean-Up Plan.  From the EPA:
On December 27, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed cleanup plan for the Gowanus Canal, which includes removing some of the contaminated sediment and capping dredged areas. The proposed plan also includes controls to prevent raw sewage overflows and other land-based sources of contamination from compromising the cleanup. The cost of the cleanup plan is expected to be between $467 and $504 million. The EPA is extending the public comment period for the plan to April 27.
The EPA had already given the community a total of 90 days to comment on the plan, much longer than the 30 days necessary under law.  Back in 2010, during the comment period prior to the EPA listing the canal as a Superfund, our elected officials and the City Of New York asked for two extensions.  On the part of the City, one of the waterway's  biggest polluters, it was a clear attempt to slow down the process.  After all, the City was lobbying hard to stop the EPA from stepping in.
By asking for another extension now, the City's motives are no different.
Let us never forget that New York City has been masterfully and criminally neglecting their responsibility for the clean-up by simply delaying and delaying....and delaying.

Some would say that this latest extension is necessary for the general public.  I see it as yet another way for the City of New York and Mayor Bloomberg to push the process out further.
30 extra days don't seem so very much, but until we get to the Record Of Decision,  the actual design and the clean-up phase cannot start.
Judith Enk, EPA Regional Administrator for Region 2, should not have given in this time and should have stuck to the 90 days. This extension just stops the forward momentum.

Two Important Meetings This Week
I encourage everyone in the community to attend one or both of these important EPA meetings on the Gowanus Canal.

On February 11, the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group will meet with the EPA regarding the proposed plan from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the P.S. 58 Auditorium, 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn. The public is welcome.

On February 13, the EPA will be in the Red Hook community to discuss in more detail the specifics of the proposed plan. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM at P.S. 15, located at 71 Sullivan Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The public is welcome.


To read EPA’s proposed plan for the Gowanus Canal site or for more information on the canal, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/gowanus or visit the EPA’s document repositories at the Carroll Gardens Library at 396 Clinton St. in Brooklyn or the Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 West 9th Street, Brooklyn. 

Written comments on the proposed plan should be addressed to:
Christos Tsiamis
Project Manager
Central New York Remediation Section
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10007-1866
e-mail: GowanusCanalComments.Region2@epa.gov



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