A community advisory group is made up of members of the community. The group is the liaison group between the local community and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders in cleanup of a Superfund site. Learn more about the CAG for the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site at gowanuscag.org.
A technical advisory group that is part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Superfund process and established to monitor progress and provide technical counsel on complex aspects of a cleanup project. The group is comprised of representatives from EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
A Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) that is heavier than water. These will sink to the bottom of a waterway as opposed to light non-aqueous phase liquids, like oil, that may appear as sheens on top of water.
Installed in 1911 and reactivated in 1999, the flushing tunnel is a large propeller that moves water into and out of the Gowanus Canal either through a brick-lined 1.2-mile (1.9-km) tunnel via Butler Street to Buttermilk Channel (between lower Brooklyn and Governor’s Island) or through the mouth of the Canal that opens into New York Harbor.
A modified clay specially designed to trap hydrocarbons like Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) through adhesion while allowing water to pass through. This material is effective in many multi-layer engineered capping applications to prevent transport of NAPLs into the water column. Commonly found bentonite or hectorite clay is altered to produce the oleophilic clay.
Polychlorinated biphenyls have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids. PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products; in pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper; and many other industrial applications.
These organic chemicals are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances. They are found in tar, crude oil, creosote and roofing tar and are common in areas with high rates of development and motor vehicle traffic.
Parties that may have contributed waste to the site. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses document reviews, site investigations, interviews, information supplied in response to information request letters, and title searches to determine a party’s liability for cleanup at a Superfund site.
The process used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on readily available information to determine if a particular site poses any threat to human health or the environment. It also makes recommendations where appropriate about possible further investigation or evaluation for corrective actions. See preliminary assessment section.
A study of alternatives considered for remediation of a hazardous waste site and the rationale for selecting a recommended alternative. The PRAP is based on the site’s Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS). The PRAP is reviewed by the public, state agencies, and other parties. See PRAP section.
A phase in the Superfund process done in conjunction with the Feasibility Study (FS). This investigation characterizes site conditions, determines the nature of the waste at the site, assesses the threat to health and the environment and evaluates the performance and cost of different cleanup remedies.
Organic compounds that can become a gas at room temperature. VOCs are the leading cause of ground-level ozone. Common sources which may emit VOCs into the air include housekeeping and maintenance products; paints, coatings, and inks; and building and furnishing materials.