Barge carrying toxic sediment from Gowanus Canal sinks
The EPA is evaluating what caused the vessel to sink as waste is transferred to another barge
(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Tuesday that one of the barges helping clear the federal Superfund site in Brooklyn’s infamous Gowanus Canal of toxic waste has itself sunk, Gizmodo reported.
The dredging effort employs excavators mounted on barges small enough to navigate the winding canal to scoop the sediment out. The submerged barge was docked in Gowanus Bay on Wednesday after carrying a load from the canal for transfer to a larger ship that would take it to New Jersey. The EPA said in a prepared statement that contractor Cashman Dredging had informed the agency of the incident on Monday.
“Cashman, a contractor for the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the Gowanus site in Brooklyn, N.Y., has mobilized pumps, booms and silt curtains to the location and pumped water from the sunken barge into a separate, empty barge during periods of lower tide,” the EPA wrote. “Operations for stabilizing the barge will continue (Wednesday). Dredging activities have been temporarily suspended so that crews can concentrate on operations to secure the barge.”
The EPA wrote that it is “actively investigating the incident to determine the cause, whether contaminated sediment was released into the water and to determine appropriate next steps,” adding that it will work quickly to remedy any potential “impacts.”
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