Friday, January 3, 2014

Remediation Plan Proposed For The Gowanus Batcave

The old power house and transit substation that was purchased by Joshua Rechnitz to house an art gallery has a new remediation plan up for discussion. (warning: pdf link).  NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan for 45 days, from January 3, 2014 through February 17, 2014.

Interesting fact - the concrete slab under that building is 13 feet thick.  As for the site history,
Sanborn maps dating back to 1886 indicate that the site was occupied by Nassau Sulfur Works and Smith and Shaw Mattress Materials and Paper Stock. In 1904, the property was transferred to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit R.R. Power Plant. Under their ownership, it appears that coal was delivered by water and transported beneath the site via coal tunnel. In 1938, the property was turned over to the Williamsburg Power Plant Corporation and used as a central power station. The property was transferred to the New York City Transit System in 1950, where it was used as an electrical sub-station and switching yard until 1996. 
As for the remediation plan
The proposed remedy consists of: 
Excavation and off-site disposal of on-site contaminant source areas including: 
• Grossly contaminated soil, as defined in 6 NYCRR Part 375-1.2(u); 
• Soil exceeding 10 ppm PCBs, to the extent feasible based on existing structures; and 
• Areas of concentrated solid or semi-solid hazardous substances. 
Clean fill will be brought, as needed to complete the backfilling of the excavation and establish the designed grades at the site. A site cover will be required to allow for restricted residential use of art of this Track 4 remedy.
The plans for this property will bear watching.  Recall that the previous proposal for the site was a large residential development known as "Gowanus Village I LLC"; the site is still listed by that name by the DEC but "[t]he proposed remedy was developed by BRT Powerhouse LLC and Gemini Arts Initiative, Inc.
("applicant(s)") after performing a detailed investigation of the site under New York's Brownfield
Cleanup Program (BCP)."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The finished grade of the site work is all important here. Contaminated soil should be removed. But new soil levels need to be considered. The finished grade should be the original grade level that was engineered for the canal and regional drainage.
FEAM staff have admitted that the current fill on that site may have been the reason the Sandy storm Surge was deflected all the way up to flood the Gowanus Houses.