Wednesday, December 8, 2010



Hello from CORD

Last night, at the American Can Factory, most members of the CAG, several members of the community, local press and electeds' representatives gathered to discuss the ongoing events surrounding the Superfunding of the Gowanus Canal.

Our chosen facilitator, Jeff Edelstein was there to guide the group through the results of the three (3) committee meetings already held. As of last night, the Real Estate, Water Quality and Operating Procedures Committees (CORD holds a seat on all three) have met and are beginning to work out what their goals are. Some possible actions discussed by the committees were mentioned. No actions have been taken at this point in time.

During the meeting, it was reported that in the hopefully very short time it will take for the Operating Procedures Committee to formulate a framework, and eventually a Charter, our Constitution, so to speak, Jeff would be guiding us through. An offer was made to any CAG members who wished to join the Operating Procedures Committee to help with what Jeff described as a "Herculean task". The invitation has an expiration date sometime early next week, the exact date has not been established, but the Committee is eager to set up the rules and guidelines we will all operate under. A summary of yesterday's OP committee meeting will be available by close of business this Friday. If you are a CAG member and are interested in being part of the committee, it would be best to advise Jeff asap.

The highlight of the evening was the news from our true Hercules, EPA Project Manager Christos Tsiamos, that the Remedial Investigation report would be ready for public presentation sometime in January. Both Christos and our Community Coordinator, Natalie Loney, assured us that as soon as the report is in hand, and the location for the public meeting has been secured ---it will most likely be at one of the local schools----they will inform us of the date, place and time. Christos also took questions from the CAG members and the other attendees in a brief Q&A session.

That Remedial Investigation report, will include among many things, the findings of the EPA regarding the levels (if any) of toxins in the Gowanus Canal water that are a direct result of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system. As many of you who have been following our newsletter for a while know, the Superfund scope of work right now, includes only the cleanup of the sediment at the bottom of the Canal. It does not include addressing the raw sewage tsunamis, like the one you saw captured on the You Tube video, which take place after rainfall when the stormwater runoff and the sewage mix together and come out of the same pipes into the Canal.

Although the Superfund includes preventing additional toxins from leaking into the canal from other sources, including the land along the banks and further upland, it never included the pathogens (the bacteria that the sewage which rushes into the canal includes) and therefore the EPA would not address this part of the issue.

If, however, the combined sewage and storm water runoff should prove to include industrial toxins, then the EPA will be taking a look at possible solutions to the CSO problems---and that could be a very good thing for us.

We all anxiously await the results of the Remedial Investigation.....A liasion, Chris Villari, from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was introduced to the group. A spirited discussion surrounding Mr Villari's opening remarks regarding the CSO issue followed.

Like we said....we all anxiously await the results of the Remedial Investigation.

As always, it is our sincerest hope that you will stay engaged and involved in this process. Maybe it is simply by not deleting this newsletter when you see it arrive but actually reading it. It would be great if you could pass this along to some of your neighbors who are interested. Encourage them to contact us ( and request to be added to this newsletter list.

Hopefully, all of you will have questions and comments...maybe concerns and hopes and wishes for the Canal and the surrounding area and you will make all of those known at one of the CAG meetings.

But, if it is not possible for you to attend, please contact us through our email,, and express your thoughts. Your remarks WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED unless you wish them so.

Instead, your comments, concerns, questions, hopes, etc will be communicated to the CAG at the meetings through CORD. Your identity will never be rtevealed unless you wish it to be revealed. So please, do not be afraid to speak up and tell us what answers you want or need. When it comes time for the CAG to weigh in on actual decisions regarding how the cleanup proceeds, we will need your input.

This community group is in existence for all of US. This is the way we are able to communicate our wishes, as a community, to the EPA during this process. Let's make the most of it. You are the community. YOU ARE CORD.



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........