Weigh In! May 31 Is Public Comment Period Deadline For Location Of Gowanus Sewage Tank Proposal

Weigh In! May 31 Is Public Comment Period Deadline For Location Of Gowanus Sewage Tank Proposal
Gowanus sewage tanks
Via US Environmental Protection Agency.

The public has one more week to comment on a controversial proposal to build an underground sewage tank near the Gowanus Canal.

“The deal, when finalized, will end years of sparring between the city and EPA over the location of two underground sewage tanks that will keep raw sewage from flowing into the Gowanus Canal and re-contaminating it after it’s cleaned up under the EPA’s $506 million Superfund effort,” DNA info reported.

The proposal involves building the tank near the end of the canal at 242 Nevins Street and 234 Butler Street. However before building begins, the city must acquire the property. The city has four years to do so, which could involve the use of eminent domain.

The community weighed in after the EPA presentation of the proposal, which took place last month. The entire meeting and public inquiry is available here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32wj4_XvQDc]
EPA presentation April 25, 2016 regarding a proposed agreement with NYC DEP concerning siting and timing of the RH-034 CSO holding tank near the head of the Gowanus Canal.

“I have always wondered what the role of [….] Controller Stringer’s office will be in approving eminent domain — the purchase price. We heard the figure of $125 million last meeting — I don’t know if that was for one piece of property or more than one – but it is an extremely high price,” said artist and neighbor Triada Samaras at the April 25 meeting.  “And I think that most people in here would agree that $125 spent by tax payers could be spent so much better in this neighborhood, acquiring park land, little corners, making this a more habitable place.”

U.S. EPA Superfund Director Walter Mugdan responded, detailing what would happen if the city was unable to acquire the property. “If the city is not able to go through the steps that are required to exercise eminent domain in the time schedule provided, then the EPA can require the city to revert back to the park location.”

Double D Pool
Double D (Douglass-Degraw Pool) at Thomas Greene Park. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

The city rejected the EPA’s previous proposal to build the tank under the Double D (Douglass-Degraw Pool) at Thomas Greene Park. However there was pushback because of the amount of time the pool would be closed to the public. “Losing a park for eight to nine years is an entire childhood,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, as reported by DNAinfo.

Should you want to add your opinion, the EPA will be accepting written comments via mail or email. Please make sure to do so by Tuesday, May 31. The information is below:

Walter Mugdan, U.S. EPA Superfund Director
290 Broadway, Floor 19, New York, N.Y., 10007


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