EPA Gowanus Community Meeting Recap

"We sleep, we eat, we dream the Gowanus Canal"

These words by the EPA's Remedial Project Manager, Christos Tsiamis perked me up at last nights informational community meeting with the EPA. It was not the most exciting thing to be doing on a Thursday night, for the most part it was a rundown by the EPA's very congenial Community Involvement Coordinator, Natalie Loney on the EPA's Technical Assistant Programs and how to apply for a TAG grant.

The EPA provides $50,000 to a community group so they can pay for technical advisor to interpret and explain technical reports, site conditions and the EPA's cleanup proposals and decisions. The EPA encourages groups in the community whose health, economic well being or enjoyment of the environment might be hurt by a Superfund site.

One of the criteria that makes one ineligible for a group to receive a TAG grant is if that group has accepted money from P.R.P's (potentially responsible parties i.e.: polluters) or political associations, which seemed to have some people who are in such groups asking questions about how to form new groups at the meeting.

Anyhow you can read all about who is eligible to apply for tag grants and how to apply here.

Things picked up during the last 20 minutes of the meeting when questions from the community were taken. I was surprised at the tone of antagonism that was directed toward Remedial Project Manager, Christos Tsiamis. Many kept asking about the city's alternative plan, which Christos answered for the most part that you'd have to ask the city for those answers. To which, a community member said that the city has been absent on this issue for months. Not the EPA's problem but Christos said he will work on these answers for the next meeting.

People in the community, including myself are getting tired of waiting for a decision. The comment period ended last July and we have been waiting ever since. It's tiring to go to meetings held by the EPA when we are still not sure who the heck is going to end up cleaning it. Is this all a waste of time?

I have never thought so, and have not doubted for a second that the canal will get the Superfunding. Tsiamis said that they have been "gaining a lot of momentum" and have been in discussion with a major PRP, National Grid. They will be meeting with them next week to discuss investing in work on the canal and what they think their role will be.

"We have a plan,a schedule and we will do it on time"
said Christos.

If you have any questions about anything about this project, don't hesitate to contact
Natalie Loney
Community Involvement Coordinator
(212) 637-3639


Anonymous said...

Lander was trying to find out a way for parties who would be disqualified for applying for a TASC grant because they had taken money from PRPs could apply anyway -BY FORMING A NEW GROUP! Hmmm...And why was Levin there? He doesn't represent any part of this community.

Anonymous said...

Please post the EPA link to the list of PRPs? I think National Grid, New York City and the US Navy are on the list but who else?

When is the application due?

Anonymous said...

1-:13 There is no due date for the applications. Verizon may be a PRP = but why don't you do your own work about PRPs if you want to know?

Anonymous said...

There is no "superfunding" as mentioned in this post.

If EPA decides to approve the nomination, the PRPs will need to finance cleanup. The EPA refuses to release their list of PRPs. It is impossible for 10:13AM to locate a list - only the EPA knows.

It is frustrating that meetings and more meetings are called by the EPA, with no information released!

Anonymous said...

1:34 The EPA has worked with transparency. The PRP list so far is what they know - but part of the process will be to identify the PRPs. It will take time, but the whole process will take time. I have been in Gowanus for decades, and NOTHING has happened yet. The City has done absolutely NOTHING. So I am fine with the process the EPA will have to go through. Maybe developers hoping to cash in on this toxic scene aren't, but they should NEVER have been invited here. The toxicity was WELL KNOWN DECADES AGO!!!

Anonymous said...

What website details the EPA plan and how long is the cleanup schedule? What happens if they exceed the schedule?

Urban Renewal plans sunset after 40 years, can we expect the Superfund plan to sunset if not completed by 40 years?