National Grid proposes changes to Gowanus cleanup
by Andrew Pavia
Jun 12, 2013 | 824 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
National Grid and the City of New York are the two parties that are going to foot the majority of the cost of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund cleanup of the polluted Gowanus Canal.

Last week, a representative from National Grid presented some alternatives to the EPA's proposed remediation to a Community Board 6 meeting, scaling back some of the dredging of toxic material the agency is planning.

“I can’t really imagine what you’re thinking when you say you’re going to clean up hotspots,” one committee member told Andrew Prophete of National Grid, citing EPA reports that revealed extensive contamination.

“Clearly, as a potential responsible party they are motivated to see the cleanup through whatever they see is the best plan,” said Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman.

Hammerman said he appreciated National Grid bringing its ideas to the board, and said in his opinion the company is attempting to re-evaluate the plan because of the “impact on them in terms of cost and efforts.”

In a statement, the EPA said it will treat all opinions regarding the Superfund cleanup the same way.

“EPA has received hundreds of comments from the public and potentially responsible parties, such as National Grid and New York City,” read the statement. “We will consider all of the comments and will prepare a full summary of our responses when we make a final decision.”

A spokesperson for National Grid said the company is merely responding to the EPA's request for comments.

“We have worked with environmental experts and consultants,” said Karen Young. “We are looking for a remedy that will be flexible with the best technology.”

When asked if National Grid was making suggestions to the EPA plan in an attempt to lower the potential cost to the company, Young said that was not the case.

“We are all looking for the same thing,” she said. “We all want to cleanup the canal and protect the environment and community.”

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