The Environmental Protection Agency’s Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) is holding a public meeting with senior-level officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to explore how to improve our local waterway.
The meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6-8 p.m., at P.S. 32, 317 Hoyt St. (near Union Street).
The CAG hopes that a big local presence at this meeting will help demonstrate the community’s strong support for a comprehensive clean-up of the canal. The CAG will be asking NYSDEC officials pointed questions about the state’s role in the enforcement of Clean Water Act requirements to eliminate sewage overflows, whether and how the state is coordinating with EPA’s Superfund cleanup process, and other issues of vital importance to a proper clean-up of the canal and protection of public health.
NYSDEC is the only agency that has the right to review and provide comments to EPA on EPA’s Superfund clean-up plan prior to its release, which is expected by the end of 2012. Questions and comments will be collected from members of the public at the meeting to be answered by NYSDEC as time permits, or to be submitted for later response.
Added Dec. 4: According to Josh Levin, Assemblymember Joan Millman’s liaison to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group, “I cannot stress enough how important it is to get as many people packed into the P.S. 32 auditorium this evening. The Department of Environmental Conservation’s primary responsibility is cleaning the uplands of the Gowanus (i.e., manufactured gas plant sites like Public Place). But the DEC is also responsible for enforcing the Clean Water Act and therefore can hold the City accountable for combined sewer overflow (CSO) issues. Also the DEC has the responsibility to approve the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) clean-up plan for the Gowanus Canal.
“Whether you have attended several Gowanus CAG meetings or simply have read some mass emails about the project, this is your chance to send a message,” added Levin, who will be attending the meeting along with Millman. “The Assemblywoman, and all the elected officials whose districts include the Gowanus, can call senior level DEC officials and voice the community’s concern. But when an entire community shows up in force, it sends a much firmer message to DEC that this project cannot be rubber-stamped for approval. If you are unable to attend, please send this message along to another individual who might be able to attend.”
For more information about the meeting, contact Jeff Edelstein, Gowanus CAG Facilitator, at email@example.com.
Photo by Shawn Hoke via Flickr.