Protect and Grow Thomas Greene Park in the Superfund Clean-up of the Gowanus Canal!
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As part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund clean-up of the Gowanus Canal, the EPA has reached an agreement with the City of NY to site an 8M gallon sewage holding tank along Nevins Street and the Canal between Douglass and Degraw streets, across from Thomas Greene Playground, SkatePark and Double D Pool in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
There is now an open comment period, ending June 16, 2017, to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in regards to the environmental impacts as a result of the tank siting. More info on the DEP Draft Scoping can be found online at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/environmental_reviews/gowanus-canal-cso-facilities-project.shtml
While Friends of Thomas Greene Park (FOTGP) support the sewage holding tank agreement, we are concerned that the Federal order still requires DEP to concurrently scope to alternatively site the sewage tank within Thomas Greene Park in the event that the City of NY is unable to acquire the land required for the sewage tank or meet the Federal prescribed timelines. In addition, the lower two-thirds of the Park closest to Nevins Street were also a part of a former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) facility prior to becoming a capped Park, and as such publicly regulated gas utility company, National Grid, will also be required to excavate and capture an underground bed of coal tar that is slowly leeching into the Gowanus Canal. Currently there is no EPA order which lays out National Grid’s remediation project scope and timeline, leaving Thomas Greene Park’s future still unknown with limited understanding of the duration of disruption impacts and park closures. At this time the Park closure is roughly estimated to be anywhere from 4 to 12 years or more depending on the sequencing of remediation work and the site selection of the sewage tank. The EPA and DEP have thus far only verbally committed to providing temporary and permanent replacement Park facilities and have said that ultimately the responsibility for financing the Park reconstruction and temporary park facilities will be National Grid’s. Should the City of NY successfully build and locate the sewage holding tank at the Canal side site there also exists the opportunity to expand Thomas Greene Park to the Canal’s edge and address the need for more park space in Gowanus.
For all these reasons and more FOTGP continues to petition all the agencies involved in determining the future of our Park to ensure our communities concerns to provide for equity, environmental justice and public health that protects and grows Thomas Greene Park during the Superfund clean-up of the Gowanus Canal are registered!
Please sign our Friends of Thomas Greene Park petition and share online before June 16, 2017 to send your comments directly to EPA Superfund Director Walter Mugdan, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza in support of protecting and growing Thomas Greene Park for Gowanus.
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