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Gowanus Remediation Team Health and Safety

Public and worker safety during construction is our number one priority. The Gowanus Remediation Team has established a rigorous environmental monitoring program to ensure the safety of the site workers and the surrounding Gowanus community during remedial construction activities. During construction, it is normal to expect increased levels of dust, temporary suspension of sediment in the waterway, noise and vibrations. Recorded air quality and noise data is published and available on the Monitoring Data page. Safety during construction is the number one priority.

To protect public and community health and the safety of workers on site, The Remediation Team, under the supervision and at the direction of the EPA, conducts an extensive air monitoring program designed and implemented by a third party, independent of the construction contractor. Fourteen (14) automated air monitoring stations have been placed along the canal to detect the presence of volatile compounds and particulate matter (dust). Urban settings like the areas surrounding the Gowanus Canal contain background levels of volatile compounds and particulate matter in the air regardless of the occurrence of remedial construction activities, and the monitoring takes into account these background levels. Volatile compounds and particulate matter include both man-made and natural occurring sources such as smog, paint, asphalt paving, vehicular emissions (diesel exhaust), and even vegetation (plants). The air monitoring stations measure concentrations of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. In the event that remedial activities result in levels of volatile compounds and particulate matter above pre-set levels, the construction team is alerted immediately so that we can investigate and address the elevated concentrations through a variety of established protocols. This process of investigating and addressing these issues serves to protect workers and surrounding communities. The air monitoring program is described in more detail in the Community Air Monitoring Program plan.
Significant noise during dredging activities is not anticipated. During bridge and bulkhead support work, noise monitors will be stationed along the canal to ensure that noise levels during construction comply with local noise ordinances. Noise is measured using the decibel scale. For example, normal conversation is typically around 60 decibels, and electric saw is around 100 decibels, and amplified rock music is around 120 decibels.

To view all monitoring data please visit: Environmental Monitoring