I went to the meeting regarding the Gowanus Canal Ecological Restoration Study attended by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corps of Engineers. They spoke about what their studies have shown and just what IS the plan for cleanup of our beloved sewage and industrial waste clogged canal.
Well, they didn’t have a lot to say about what will be done. Because most of it won’t happen until the year 2010. A couple years after the zoning changes and by then the condo’s will probably be built!
There was a lot of talk of about sewage. About “floatables” and lowering “C.S.O’s” which stands for “COMBINED STORM AND SANITARY OUTFALLS”. C.S.O’s are a combination of raw sewage and industrial waste mixed in with things like pesticides and bacteria. C.S.O’s don’t look good and don’t smell good either. Basically, they want to keep the C.S.O’s submerged rather than floating around on top as it is in the above photo which I took after a massive rain storm last month.
In 2010 a new pump MIGHT be installed, which comes at a cost of 125 million dollars to the city and dredging might begin sometime before that happens. Until then, reduction of floatables will be done manually by scooping it up somehow from boats that cruise the canal. Another frightening option to control the sewage runoff into the canal, is to store it in huge containers, but that would take several acres of land, so I don’t think that’s an option.
Many questions were asked and not many were answered. Questions like, “Does anybody monitor the dumping done by the cement companies and the scrap metal yard?’ or “What about storm barriers in case of a highly likely catastrophic storm surge?” or “What if the pump fails like it has in the past but now we have 1.000’s of new residents?”
The stock answer seemed to be “Well, I can’t really answer that.."