Update: October 2020

The Gowanus Remedial Design Team begins mobilization for in-water work on the Gowanus Canal in September 2020.  The in-water work scheduled to commence in November 2020 will take place between the head of the Canal at Butler Street to Third Street, Remedial Treatment Area 1 (RTA-1).  The RTA-1 work is expected to be completed in three years.

The remedial design [or remedial work plan], was approved by United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in July 2020.  This document incorporates results and lessons learned from two phases of a Pilot Study performed in Turning Basin 4 (TB4), completed in December 2018.   This is a complex project which in general will consist of the following components:

  • Equipment, material, and personnel staging at the Support Site located on the corner of Smith and Huntington Street.
  • Mechanical dredging along the entirety of RTA-1
  • Installation of bulkhead and bridge supports
  • In-situ stabilization in designated areas
  • Capping along the entirety of RTA-1

The Gowanus Remedial Design Team continues to meet with USEPA regularly to coordinate construction activities with the other ongoing bulkhead installation work being performed by private property owners along the canal. This coordination requires a great deal of effort and attention to detail to sequence the movement of in-canal construction vessels in close proximity to one another. It is for this reason we ask the public to refrain from using the canal during these times for your own safety as well as the safety of the workers performing the canal work.  All vessel movement should be coordinated through the U.S. Coast Guard and the USEPA.  In-canal construction is expected to start in November 2020.

Currently, the Gowanus Remedial Design Team, including the Contractor, is preparing the Support Site property at the corner of Huntington and Smith Streets to support the in-canal work. The Contractor will be utilizing the Support Site for staging of various equipment and materials required for the remedy as well as a central staging location for project personnel. Stockpiles of materials on site to be used in the canal remediation will also likely be present at times throughout the remedy. Necessary support facilities, like the canal water treatment plant required to safely process and discharge canal waters collected during dredging will also be located on the Support Site.

Learn more about the Gowanus Canal activities in the latest update.
For more information, please leave a message on our hotline at (718) 403-2451.

Currently, you may see a large fabric enclosure and miscellaneous construction activities on the property where the Gowanus Support Site is located. These activities are related to the former Citizens MGP Site remediation managed under the NYSDEC program. The Gowanus Canal Team is working collaboratively with the National Grid Citizens Site Team to ensure both activities sharing the same site will be able to operate in coordination and perform their respective duties safely. For further information and latest updates on the Citizens Site remediation please refer to the website: www.citizensmgpsite.com.

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For more information, please visit the USEPA’s Gowanus Superfund site.

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HISTORY

The Gowanus Canal was built in the mid-1800s and for many years served as as a major industrial transportation route. Decades of industrial use along the Canal contributed to the Gowanus Canal’s environmental impacts. In addition, contamination flows into the canal from overflows from sewer systems that carry sanitary waste from homes and rainwater from storm drains and industrial pollutants. As a result, on March 4, 2010, USEPA added the Gowanus Canal to the National Priorities List of sites.

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