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July 17, 2009

U.S. House Approves Funding for Gowanus Study

Washington, DC –Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved $300,000 in federal resources for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study currently underway at the Gowanus Canal and Bay.  The funding will be used to continue the environmental evaluation and indentify the best approach for restoring the canal ecosystem.  Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) worked to include this project in the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.  She is dedicated to cleaning-up the canal and bringing sustainable development to the area, and applauded the allocation of funds as the next step toward completing this important study.

“The Army Corps has made significant progress in determining the extent of contamination at the Gowanus Canal, and this information has played a critical role in developing plans for clean-up and habitat restoration.  I am working to bring the resources needed to complete this study and move on to the next step in the process,” Velázquez said. 

Over the past decade, Congresswoman Velázquez has secured more than $2.1 million in federal funding for the Gowanus Canal and Bay Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.  The total cost of the study is projected to be $5 million, with the federal government committing half the funds and the other half coming from local sources.  The Army Corps has partnered with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) to complete the project and assess current environmental problems at the Gowanus Canal.  The goal of the study is to determine the restoration measures needed to reduce contamination, create wetland areas, and improve water movement and quality. 

“The residents of Southwest Brooklyn deserve a healthy environment to live, work and raise their families.   The Army Corps study is playing an important role in promoting a clean future for neighbors of the Gowanus Canal,” Velázquez said. 

The Army Corps research is being used to determine the best method for remediating the Gowanus Canal.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently nominated the Gowanus Canal for Superfund designation.  An open comment period on the Superfund nomination ended on July 8, 2009.  

The FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.