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Gowanus Canal Environmental Dredging

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) proposes to dredge an approximately 825 foot long area extending from the head of the Gowanus Canal to approximately the Union Street Bridge (“proposed project”) in accordance with an Administrative Order of Consent CO2-20000107-8 (“CSO Consent Order”) between the DEP and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The proposed project is expected to eliminate accumulated sediment mounds at the head end of the Canal and associated odors, and improve the visual aesthetics of the waterbody and substrate for benthic habitat.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) placed the Gowanus Canal (USEPA ID#: NYN000206222) on its National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites requiring further evaluation on March 2, 2010.  As DEP’s proposed project was initiated prior to USEPA’s 2010 listing of the Canal as a “Superfund” site and following NYCDEC’s 2009 approval of the Gowanus Canal Waterbody/Watershed Facility Plan (WWFP), this environmental review and related permit applications have been developed to meet the terms of the CSO Consent Order between DEP and NYSDEC. On December 29, 2011, EPA released a draft Feasibility Study (FS) for the Canal.  The draft FS contained remedial alternatives which included dredging as part of the overall remedy for the Canal. As such, DEP will continue to coordinate with NYSDEC and USEPA to ensure that the proposed project design meets the milestones required by the CSO Consent Order and is aligned with USEPA’s overall clean-up program.

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