Saturday, July 21, 2012

CAG Letter to Our Elected Officials!

July 17, 2012

Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
Office of the Mayor
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Honorable Bloomberg,

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group is made up of 54 representatives from civic, environmental, business and community organizations, as well as individual at large citizen-members who are the stakeholders in the community around the Gowanus Canal impacted by the Superfund work.
Our community has been plagued by the pollution in the canal caused by combined sewer overflows whose toxic compounds, hazardous regulated materials and PAH’s represent adverse health risks to people, animals and plant life and therefore has overwhelmingly passed the following (two) resolutions—(see below for April 2012 Resolution)

RESOLUTION #1:     April 2012 Sediment Resolution to EPA
The Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group fully supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its finding that New York City’s Combined Sewer Overflows are a significant contributor of harmful sediment and Superfund regulated PAHs and metals to the canal. The CAG takes the position that the total elimination of CSOs into the Gowanus Canal is the only acceptable solution to the problem.
The CAG asks that the EPA, under their Superfund authority, take the necessary measures that will ensure protection of the proposed remedy from ongoing CSO sediment solids deposits and the release of PAHs and other toxins.

RESOLUTION #2:     Resolution on Water Quality Classification
The Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group hereby resolves that the water of the Gowanus Canal be reclassified from it's current industrial standard, which is designated Class-SD. Class-SD only mandates a minimal level of dissolved oxygen be maintained in the waters, but places no limit on levels of pathogens present in the waterway.
The CAG requests that the Gowanus Canal be given a water classification that is protective of its current recreational uses which includes contact recreation for families and children. A reclassification that imposes limits on pathogen levels, both coliform and enterococci bacteria, is necessary to insure that children and others are not exposed to unacceptable health risks, including dangerous diseases, due to a simple act of coming into contact with the water while recreating in, on, or at the canal.

In summary, the CAG believes that the Superfund cleanup represents a unique opportunity to conduct a comprehensive cleanup of the Gowanus Canal and that it would be a waste of time, money, and energy to select a remedy that does not completely prevent recontamination by CSOs.

As our elected representative, we are requesting you support this community's wishes by furthering the goals of these resolutions.

You can begin by forwarding a statement of your full support by July 30, 2012 to:

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington .C. 20460

Walter Mugdan, EPA Region 2, Director of the Division of Environmental Planning and Protection (DEPP)
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004 

Robert Perciasepe Deputy Administrator
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004 

Joseph Martens, Commissioner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Public Affairs and Education
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4500

Again, we respectfully urge you to take every action possible to support these resolutions, which will make a difference in the lives of your constituents.

Please forward a copy of your letter to the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group via email at

We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group

Comprised of:
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development (CORD)
Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association
Center for Urban Pedagogy
Citizens of Pozzallo
Cobble Hill Association
Community Board 6
Fifth Avenue Committee
Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG)
Friends of Douglass/Greene Park, Inc.
Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation
Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club
Gowanus Houses Tenants Association
Gowanus Neighborhood Association/Gowanus-4-Life
Metropolitan Waterfront Association
Our Lady of Loretto
Council #585, Knights of Columbus
Park Slope Civic Council
Park Slope Neighbors
Pratt Center for Community Development
Proteus Gowanus
Red Hook Civic Association
Red Hook East Tenants Association
Red Hook West Tenants Association
Sierra Club
South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation
Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation
Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy
Wyckoff Gardens Tenants Association/Public Housing Communities, Inc.

And 25 At-Large Members



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........