Remedial Design Services at the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site
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The Gowanus Canal Superfund Site is a large sediment mega-site in Brooklyn, approximately two miles long with construction dating to the 1860s. The adjacent waterfront is primarily commercial and industrial and includes concrete plants, warehouses, and parking lots, as well as multiple former manufactured gas plants that operated along the canal dating from the 18th century.

The site is also near several current and planned residential neighborhoods. The canal receives discharges from multiple combined sewer overflows from local stormwater and wastewater collection systems and from a variety of permitted and non-permitted point sources.  Geosyntec was retained to serve as the project coordinator and engineer of record to conduct the remedial design (RD), lead the regulatory negotiations related to the RD, and provide overall technical direction for this Superfund site.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

Geosyntec's role is in support of the overarching goal of establishing a RD that is constructible, sustainable, cost-effective, and permanent. We refined the existing conceptual site model (CSM) by compiling several data sources into a single, integrated, comprehensive data visualization package, which we informed with 23 predesign investigations with interested federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. We also led regulatory interactions on all technical and permitting matters.

We have developed detailed designs of remedial components that are described only conceptually in the Record of Decision (ROD), including the scoping and planning of a holistic pilot study of the remedy to optimize overall remedial design. The pilot study design was developed on an aggressive schedule and successfully implemented with Geosyntec oversight and construction quality assurance. Lessons learned from the pilot study are being incorporated into the final remedial design for the site.

Geosyntec is also serving as the Project Coordinator for the site, leading USEPA communications and leading the collective design team towards successful project completion.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec has provided effective and forward-looking project management for the client Group as project coordinator and we have achieved the following project optimization results:

  • NAPL migration investigation results to define in situ stabilization (ISS) areas compared to the USEPA's pre-determined areas. This resulted in cost and schedule savings since our designs are targeted only towards the areas requiring treatment
  • Pilot study and field determination of soft/native interface, which reduced dredging volume significantly by avoiding the removal of unnecessary material which was not required under the ROD
  • A tailored approach to capping treatment layer design to minimize the amount of amendment needed
  • We argued for a sensible treatment and disposal approach of beneficial use of processed dredgement material to limit the amount of material required for thermal treatment

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Project Summary

  • Location: Brooklyn, New York
  • Client: Gowanus Canal Remedial Design Group
  • Project Practice Areas: Contaminated Sites, Water and Wastewater
  • Type of Facility: Urban waterway
  • Services Provided: Pre-design investigations, Hydrodynamic and sediment transport modeling, Remedial design for dredging, capping, ISS, bulkhead support, Large-scale pilot study design and implementation, Construction quality assurance, EPA project coordinator
  • Type of Work: Sediment remediation
  • Governing Regulation: CERCLA