The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the issuance of an administrative order requiring the start of the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal Superfund site in Brooklyn, New York.
The order, which covers both the cleanup of the upper canal – denominated as Remediation Target Area (RTA) 1 – and the 1st Street turning basin, is based on years of detailed engineering, scientific studies and design work.
The work required by the order involves full-scale dredging and capping of RTA 1, as well as restoration of the 1st Street turning basin. The project is estimated to cost $125 million and is expected to take about 30 months to complete.
“This order will ensure the remediation of a portion of the heavily-contaminated waterway, which is the centerpiece of a revitalized neighborhood,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez.
“We’ve come a long way to achieve this significant milestone in cleaning up the Gowanus Canal. With pilot dredging tested, full-scale dredging, capping and restoration of the canal can proceed, starting with the first third of the canal,” said U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez.
The remediation of RTA 1 is the first of three areas of the Canal that are targeted for cleanup. The restoration of the contaminated filled-in former 1st Street turning basin will serve as the primary wetlands area for mitigating or offsetting incremental encroachment into the Canal created by construction of deeper and more robust bulkheads along the Canal that are needed to allow dredging to take place at the necessary depths.
The start of dredging required by the order is currently scheduled for September 2020, contingent on completion of bulkhead upgrades.