Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Spring For Gowanus Canal: By May 2018, For The First Time In Over A Century, A Section Of The Waterway With Be Clean.

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Work currently going on in the 4th Street Turning Basin
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Christos Tsiamis
EPA Senior Project Manager for the Gowanus SuperfundUntitled
Tsiamis with Doug Sarno, Gowanus Canal CAG facilitator

Christos Tsiamis, the Environmental Projection Agency's Senior Project Manager for the Gowanus Superfund attended last night's Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group's meeting to give an update on the clean-up of our polluted canal.

As you might have noticed, there has been quite a bit of activity on the Gowanus Canal at the 4th Street Basin (TB4), located at the intersection of 4th Street and 3rd Avenue next to the Gowanus Whole Foods. As of the beginning of October, heavy equipment and barges have been moved into the basin to perform preparatory work ahead of Phase Two of the Dredging and Capping Pilot Study, which will begin in a little over a month from now.

The preparatory work consists of dredging an 'access channel' to allow larger vessels to work in TB4, and to install bulkhead support to strengthen the existing bulkheads during the excavation of soft sediment during the pilot study.

The second phase* of the Pilot Study will take place roughly from December 2017 to May 2018. It will consist of dredging the contaminated material at the bottom of the Turning Basin, to screen the material, to remove debris, to stabilize the sediment to render it harmless, and to barge the stabilized material to an off-site facility by barge.
Finally, a multi-layer  protective cover will be placed on the bottom of the canal to prevent re-contamination.  The study will take place roughly from December 2017 To May 2018.

Once the pilot study is completed, all information gathered will be analyzed and incorporated into the design for the entire environmental remediation of the canal from top to bottom. "Then we are, so to speak, off to the races. From then on, it will be a continuous process" according to Tsiamis.

"I don't know if you have realized it, folks, but this is the real deal! Pay attention to this. By the time we finish the pilot study at the end of spring 2018, for the first time in over a century, there will be a clean portion of the canal. It will be spring, and spring for the Gowanus Canal, also," Christos told members of the CAG, who applauded the news loudly.
"You dreamt about a clean Gowanus, we dreamt of a clean Gowanus. We would like for the community to pass around the news."

*The first phase of the Pilot Study was carried out in October 2016 and consisted of clearing debris from the basin which obstructed navigational access. (for photos of the intriguing objects and material dredged up can be found here.)



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