Thursday, July 13, 2006

Gowanus Clean Up Funds Earmarked

Gowanus Ninth St

With sewage erupting from manhole covers and a Gowanus Conservancy forming, Sen. Charles Schumer has stashed $250,000 in the FY 2007 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to help with Gowanus Canal clean up efforts. The money will go to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study cleaning up and restoring the 1.5-mile South Brooklyn Seine. (As opposed to actually cleaning up the canal, which is going to cost a lot more than that.)

The funding is reported in the Park Slope Courier, which quoted Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who has secured federal funds for Gowanus community planning efforts, as saying she hopes the Big G will be transformed into “a viable source of community and economic development.”

Says the Courier:
The money will go towards an Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study designed to assess the environmental problems and potential solutions in the Gowanus Canal.

Restoration measures will assess the ‘hot spot’ clean-up of off channel contaminated sediments, contaminant reduction measures, creation of wetlands, water quality improvements, and the alteration of ydrogen/hydraulics to improve water movement and quality.

Potential next steps for the Army Corps of Engineers include dredging, capping, and perhaps some remediation of sediments.
The Department of Environmental Protection is working to upgrade the canal’s flushing tunnel, which pulls water from New York Harbor into the canal. The flushing tunnel upgrade, however, won't start until 2008 and will take 3-4 years.

Schumer pointed out that what flows into the canal is an issue for more than just South Brooklyn, because Gowanus water eventually makes its way into Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

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