Properties in Syracuse, Clay, Cortland and Gloversville to Participate in State's Environmental Restoration Program
Grants Help Municipalities Clean Up Contaminated Sites, Protect Communities and Strengthen Local Economies
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4.8 million in grants to help four municipalities clean up contamination at sites targeted for redevelopment. The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, the Town of Clay, the City of Gloversville, and the City of Cortland will each receive funding through the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Environmental Restoration Program, which helps local governments clean up sites with historic contamination and put the properties back into productive use.
"New York continues to be a leader in making strategic investments that not only protect the environment but also revitalize communities and create jobs at the same time," Governor Cuomo said. "With these grants, we can help municipalities clean up decades-old contamination and ultimately move forward on redeveloping sites, bolstering local economies and contributing to the area's revitalization."
"Part of our commitment to the environment in New York is working every day to restore contaminated sites around the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "With this investment of state funding, we are helping local municipalities clean up areas that have sat vacant for years, allowing them to be productive sites for economic development and job growth. These targeted investments are also improving the health and public safety of New Yorkers by removing hazardous and dangerous materials."
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Cleaning up and rejuvenating formerly contaminated properties helps protect public health and the environment and promotes economic vitality. The grants announced today are possible because of the ongoing efforts of Governor Cuomo and others who have vigorously promoted the restoration of blighted properties and supported brownfield cleanup and redevelopment throughout the State, which benefits communities large and small."
The ERP, created in 1996, provides grants to municipalities to reimburse eligible costs at municipally owned brownfield properties to help promote redevelopment, helping to clean up more than 130 sites to date. Funding for the grants is primarily through the State's Hazardous Waste Cleanup Account. By 2009, funding for the program had been exhausted, but under Governor Cuomo's leadership, up to $10 million a year can now be used to investigate and clean up ERP sites in communities across the state, ensuring cleanup sites like the ones announced today would never hit this roadblock again.
The grants announced today are the first to use this new funding. The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, town of Clay, city of Gloversville, and city of Cortland will each enter into funding agreements with DEC, with the municipality responsible for a 10 percent share of the project cost.
Senator Rachel May said, "Central New York has a proud history of a strong economy based on good paying manufacturing jobs. But part of that history is also the byproducts of industry, in the form of toxins in the water and soil. As our regional economy has changed, we have found ourselves burdened with hazardous materials in former industrial properties and no responsible party to clean them up. I am so pleased that the City of Syracuse is receiving this $1.5 million grant from the Environmental Restoration Program to address the brownfield site at the Former Syracuse Rigging Property. Thank you to the Governor for supporting the restoration of land in Central New York."
Senator James L. Seward said, "Economic development and the environment are both top priorities of the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) that will breathe new life into long dormant sites. Cortland is in the midst of a true transformation thanks to several state grants that are fueling economic growth, new housing, and other locally-driven initiatives. Revitalizing the Noss Industrial Park will further enhance the region for future generations."
Senator Jim Tedisco said, "This new state grant will help a long-sought clean-up to a site in Gloversville that will help the environment and ultimately lead to local economic development which will be positive for taxpayers. I want to thank the Governor and Commissioner Seggos for approving this grant."
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said, "This funding from the DEC represents a great opportunity for the Cortland community to clean up a contaminated former manufacturing site and make the property shovel-ready for future economic redevelopment. Putting properties like these back into productive use is good for both the environment and the local economy, and I'm proud to support this effort. My thanks to the Governor and the DEC for their continued investment in Upstate New York."
Assemblyman William Magnarelli said, "The former Syracuse Rigging site on Peat Street has a history of being used for commercial and industrial operations, dating back to the 1890s, but has sat unused for more than 20 years. The announcement of the Environmental Restoration Program grant gives hope that the area will remediated and put back in use. The ability to do so, without charging the municipality for the entire cost of cleanup, benefits local residents, our city and the environment at large."
Assemblyman Robert J. Smullen said, "It is good to see the State funding secured to finish cleaning up the Pan American Tannery Site in Gloversville. By removing hazardous materials and contaminants, we are positively opening the door for new economic development opportunities that will help strengthen our community and keep our families safe. We must continue our efforts to ensure every New Yorker is living in a safe and clean environment."
Assemblyman Al Stirpe said, "In honor of Earth Day this week, we must recognize that our environment is fragile and our natural resources are not limitless. It's up to us to not only protect and preserve our environment for future generations, but to also take action to undo past damage. This funding will help the town of Clay clean up a contaminated site so that it can be used again and continues the state's commitment to ensuring our families have clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe and healthy land to use. I look forward to seeing this project carried out and moving us toward a cleaner, more sustainable Central New York."
Projects receiving funding in this latest round of grants are:
Town of Clay: $2,990,000
The Maider Road Waterfront Site was operated as a storage facility for fuel oil and asphalt from about 1940 until 1996. The northern parcel included a dock for unloading barges. Petroleum was transferred to and from the site in part by pipelines which ran from the Oneida River to the site. Petroleum was also transferred from and/or to the site via a rail spur to the east of the site. The grant will be used to implement DEC's cleanup plan that is protective of public health and the environment by addressing soil and groundwater contaminated by petroleum and petroleum constituents including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals such as arsenic.
City of Syracuse Industrial Development Agency: $1,501,000
The Former Syracuse Rigging Property formerly supported several commercial and industrial operations since at least the 1890s, including a structural steel works, a forge and machine shop, an equipment repair facility, and a paint and varnish supplier. Past operations led to site contamination from the release of petroleum products from bulk storage tanks and piping. The funding will be used to implement DEC's cleanup plan that is protective of public health and the environment by addressing soil and groundwater contaminated by a variety of metals and PAHs.
City of Gloversville: $192,000
The Pan American Tannery site is a former tannery, operating from at least 1912 until the mid-1990s, primarily as a re-tanning and finishing facility. The grant will be used to implement the DEC's cleanup plan that is protective of public health and the environment by addressing soil and groundwater contaminated by PAHs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and metals such as arsenic and copper.
City of Cortland: $115,000
The Noss Industrial Park site was occupied by a wire manufacturing facility from 1866 to 1970. In addition, chemical pickling of wire involved use of strong acids. When buildings were demolished, rubble was used to fill basements and other excavations. The funding will be used to implement the DEC's cleanup plan that is protective of public health and the environment by addressing soil and groundwater contaminated by PAHs, VOCs and heavy metals such as arsenic.