Friday, October 1, 2010

Gowanus Canal Citizen Advisory Group (CAG) first meeting in October. Public Welcome!

Hello from CORD!

Last week we blogged about the startling video that depicted our Gowanus Canal full of crap, literally speaking, and the unforgettable images that speak a thousand words.

This story also made the Brooklyn News 12 television news earlier this week
in a story called:
Tornado leaves raw sewage overflowing in Gowanus Canal

(09/24/10) BROOKLYN - "Last week's tornado has left a lot of raw sewage in the Gowanus Canal.

Officials say the rain, combined with sewage from homes and businesses, mixes with storm water from the street and flows right into the canal".......(more at link)

As we, who live near the Gowanus Canal already know, the weather does not need to bring us a tornado for the Gowanus Canal to have raw sewage in it. This occurs on a regular basis throughout the year after any major storm.

Thus it all the more important for you, our Carroll Gardens neighbors, to stay involved with our Gowanus Canal clean up, whether that means keeping abreast of the the ongoing EPA clean-up of the canal, or learning more about the "CSO's", the "combined sewar overflows" and the water quality of the Gowanus Canal in general.

Below is a description of the upcoming and public, CAG (Community Advisory Group) meeting. For more on this important group, please see PMFA at

Please consider attending this important meeting! We also encourage you to write to us at cgcord@gmail with your comments and concerns. We look forward to hearing from you.


Meeting Announcement

The first Gowanus Canal CAG meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Old American Can Factory at 232 Third Street (corner of Third Avenue). We expect to have the room open at 6:15 p.m. for informal discussion and socializing, with beverages and light snacks.

Draft agenda:

7:00 – 7:30 Welcome, opening remarks, and CAG member introductions

7:30 – 8:00 Superfund timeline, decision points, and CAG roles

8:00 – 8:30 Superfund site updates

8:30 – 8:45 Break

8:45 – 9:25 CAG structure – committees and operating procedures

9:25 – 9:40 Updates on Superfund-related community activities

9:40 – 9:55 Public comments

9:55 – 10:00 Next steps

Open meeting: The meeting is open to all members of the public. Please feel free to tell others about this meeting.

CAG membership and preliminary protocols: I will be releasing a memorandum finalizing the CAG membership list within the next week, along with preliminary protocols regarding communications, conflict of interest, and other matters. The memo will also describe the comments I have received on the Sept. 8 memo and responses to those comments.

Meeting documentation: A full meeting summary document will be produced and we are also looking into possibilities of filming the meeting and posting it on-line, so that those who cannot attend can keep abreast of progress.

Public comment: There will be a short period for public comment at the meeting. In the event that there are additional public comments, we will provide comment/question cards, as well as offering a web option for comments subsequent to the meeting. Responses to such comments or questions will be provided at the following CAG meeting and/or via email to the full CAG distribution list. The reason for keeping the public comment period fairly short is because CAG meetings are in addition to, not a substitute for, public meetings that EPA may convene when appropriate, and the CAG members have quite a bit of work to accomplish during the meeting. The CAG will likely have a public outreach committee that will be working on ways for more members of the public to be involved. Lastly, I will be available to discuss any issues or questions following the meeting adjournment at 10 p.m.


Jeff Edelstein


Jeff Edelstein

Principal, Edelstein Associates

Senior Consultant, Consensus Building Institute

(207) 247-8024 (office)

(207) 632-8440 (cell)

Additional info at:


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........