Posts tagged with "NYC Department of Environmental Protection":

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EPA rejects tunnel plan for Gowanus Canal cleanup, says tanks will happen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected a proposal by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to clean up the Gowanus Canal with increased efficiency. The 1.8-mile-long canal in Brooklyn has long-been considered one of the nation’s most contaminated bodies of water. The canal’s pollution can be traced back as far as the 19th century. Located in a major industrial hub, it served as an active dumping site for chemicals from the paper mills, gas plants, and leather tanneries that surrounded it. Today, the canal faces the harmful effects of combined sewer overflow (CSO), which occurs when substantial rainfall causes the sewer system to release wastewater into the canal. Since 2010, the Gowanus Canal has been a designated Superfund site, marked by the EPA for high-priority cleanup because of contamination by hazardous waste that poses a threat to public health or the environment. As residential development continues to add luxury buildings to Gowanus, the push to save the canal has gained even more momentum. Dredging of the waterway began in the fall of 2017. In a letter to the City, the EPA formally rejected a proposal to construct a 16-million gallon underground CSO tunnel to divert pollutants. Instead, Peter Lopez, regional administrator of the EPA, announced that the agency planned to move forward with the installation of two CSO retention tanks along the canal. Lopez cited several EPA concerns in the letter, including cost impacts, insufficient protection, and external factors outside of the agency’s federal jurisdiction. In addition to holding four million more gallons than the tanks, the tunnel’s design would have given the City the opportunity to expand it in the future if necessary. While the EPA has remained steadfast in its plans to fix the canal, it claims that the City’s proposal was given careful consideration; the letter concluded with the following statement from Lopez:
“In terms of advising the community of this decision, we plan to concentrate our outreach to advising them that we have cooperatively reviewed the City's proposal and focus on the many steps occurring as we move ahead with the selected remedy. We look forward to our continued, close collaboration as we work to bring the benefits of this critical work to the Gowanus community.”
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321 new rain gardens in Queens will help clean up Newtown Creek

The City of New York has begun construction on a new green infrastructure project that will place over 300 rain gardens in the Queens neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Maspeth, and Ridgewood. According to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the specially-designed curbside gardens will be able to collect 2,500 gallons of stormwater each for a total capacity of 38 million gallons each year. Along with beautifying these three neighborhoods the rain gardens will help combat sewage overflows into Newtown Creek, an estuary between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens that is one of the country’s dirtiest waterways and a designated Superfund site. The project will be funded by a $7.3 million dollar investment from the DEP, which manages New York City’s water supply, and will be managed by the Department of Design and Construction. Rain gardens, also known as bioswales, have also been constructed in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gowanus to reduce pollution in its famously filthy canal. The DEP’s standard rain garden design involves digging out the garden to a depth of five feet, then backfilling with a mixture of stone and engineered soil. Hardy trees and plants absorb water trapped in the soil mixture, providing the added benefit of greener streets and cleaner air for residents. These gardens mimic natural environmental systems and make good use of what would otherwise be problematic wastewater. The city has already constructed approximately 1000 rain gardens, with another 1500 currently under construction. This and other green infrastructure projects are a key part of the city’s $10 billion initiative to improve its wastewater treatment system and reduce overflows, improving the health of New York City’s harbor and waterways. Check out this video to see a bioswale collecting stormwater in Boerum Hill:
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Michael Van Valkenburgh Releases Details of Main Street Section of Brooklyn Bridge Park

[beforeafter]bbp_mainSt_02 bbp_mainSt_03[/beforeafter] Much has been brewing at Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) over the last six months starting with the opening of Pier 5 to the completion of Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge. And now, according to DUMBO NYC, the Park, along with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, recently unveiled plans at a community meeting to overhaul the Main Street section of its 1.3-mile waterfront stretch at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. [beforeafter] bbp_mainSt_04 bbp_mainSt_05[/beforeafter] The proposal sketches out space for a variety of activities and amenities such as an outdoor nature exhibit facility, a new Department of Environmental Protection building with restrooms and center for children's educational programming, a revamped landscaping program, a bouldering wall, a dog run, and an area reserved for active recreation.