GOWANUS — The public has until May 31 to weigh in on a controversial proposal to build an underground sewage tank near the Gowanus Canal.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in April that it had reached an agreement with the city on where to build two underground sewage tanks. The tanks are a critical part of the EPA's $506 million Superfund cleanup of the canal — they will keep raw sewage from flowing into the canal and re-contaminating it after it's cleaned up.
The agreement, which will be finalized after the public comments on it, says that the city will build the larger of the two tanks on two pieces of privately-owned property at the end of the canal at 242 Nevins St. and 234 Butler St.
The city has a maximum of four years to acquire the property, which will probably require eminent domain. That scenario is expected to delay the cleanup of the canal by one and a half to three years, an EPA spokesman said.
EPA originally wanted the city to build the tank underneath Thomas Greene park and "Double D" pool on Third Avenue and Douglass Street, but the city objected to that proposal because it would mean digging up the park and pool and making it inaccessible to the public for up to nine years.
How to comment: Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:
Walter Mugdan, U.S. EPA Superfund Director
290 Broadway, Floor 19, New York, N.Y., 10007