Bowery Residents’ Committee retained GZA to investigate and remediate environmental contamination of a steeply-sloped, vacant brownfield site redeveloped into a 13-story supportive housing development with subsurface parking. Historic uses at the site included manufactured gas plant-related structures and an engineering research facility. The project was enrolled in the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation (NYC OER) Voluntary Clean-up Program (VCP), an expedited brownfield redevelopment initiative intended to facilitate high-quality clean-ups and developments that benefit the surrounding community and the environment; it was also an E-Designated Site.


GZA conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, a Phase II Site Investigation, and a Vapor Encroachment Assessment. Upon discovery of contamination, the project was enrolled in the NYC OER VCP. GZA completed a Remedial Investigation (RI), Remedial Action Workplan (RAWP), and worked with the project architect to design a vapor barrier and subslab depressurization system (SSDS) for the new building.

The discovery of significant, previously unidentified subsurface structures and a leaking 5,000-gallon underground storage tank (UST) during construction added complexity to the project. GZA remediated the contaminated soils associated with the UST and performed the soil assessment after the UST was removed. GZA implemented the Remedial Action proposed in the RAWP under the VCP, conducted a Community Air Monitoring Program (CAMP), and completed hazardous materials removal.


GZA not only provided comprehensive environmental services at a highly regulated brownfield site, but nimbly responded to unexpected conditions during construction, minimizing construction delays and budget impacts. The project received the 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Supportive/Affordable Housing.