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FACT SHEET-Newtown Creek, New York

Federal Navigation Channel Maintenance of Infrastructure and Stewardship

Published Jan. 8, 2013

DESCRIPTION: Stand-by with coordination with the NYCDEP, NYSDEC and other stakeholders for the EPA Superfund clean-up at this national priority site. Evaluate the most recent condition surveys.

AUTHORIZATION/PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Adopted by the R & H Act of 26 August 1937.Public Law 392- 75th Congress. The existing federal navigation project provides for a channel 23 feet deep and 130 ft wide from East River to 150 ft north of Maspeth Ave, with a triangular area at the north side of the entrance. A turning basin 23 feet deep at Mussel Island, becomes shallower and narrower approaching Metropolitan Avenue. About 36% of the project has not been completed.

FUNDING: No funding was provided in the President’s Budget for FY15/FY16 budgets. Modest carry-in funds from prior fiscal years will be used for barebones coordination as needed.

STATUS: Newtown Creek was designated a Superfund National Priority Site in 2010/2011 under the guidance of the USEPA. A complete condition survey, last performed in 1991, was performed in April 2009 by the USACE New York District. Sampling and testing for possible future upland placement will be coordinated with the NYSDEC, NYCDEP and other stakeholders. The entire channel was last dredged in 1951 with the removal of 80,000 cys of material. In the 1950s and 1960s, portions of Dutch Kills and English Kills were dredged. The channel has been subject to various industrial contaminant inputs along the river over the past several decades. As a result, the material to be removed may be too contaminated to dredge and place in approved upland sites. New York City Department of Environmental Protection is the local sponsor. Economic re-development of the area is planned. Coordination with the NYCDEP is maintained.


Joe Olha,

Project Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Phone: (917) 790-8404


26 Federal Plaza,

New York, NY 10278-0090


Congressional District: NY-05, NY-12


Current as of February 2015