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Environmental Cleanup Success Stories

Remediation and Reuse

In addition to the significant environmental benefits of brownfield cleanup, the reuse of brownfield sites can enhance communities in a variety of ways. The following examples highlight site cleanups and reuses that will greatly improve New York's economic and ecological landscape. Read more about the Division of Environmental Remediation's accomplishments in the annual report (PDF, 1.1 MB).

LEED Certified Affordable Housing - Oswego County

Aerial view of the new affordable housing units at Harbor View Square.

Harbor View Square - Oswego - Site Number C738040

Through several remedial programs and the investment and commitment from multiple private and governmental agencies, the threat posed by contamination has been addressed at this former manufacturing facility, and an underutilized property adjacent to significant natural resources has been restored to productive use. Once occupied by a variety of industrial operations, this site in downtown Oswego sits near the shore of Lake Ontario with views of the Oswego River. The site investigation was completed in DEC's Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) under a State grant awarded to the city of Oswego. On-site contamination was remediated by a private developer under the BCP while off-site contamination was addressed under the State Superfund Program. Located within the Oswego Corridor BOA, designated by the Department of State in 2015, Harbor View Square was eligible to receive bonus tax credits for redeveloping the site consistent with the community's own vision as laid out in their BOA plan. The redevelopment consists of a mix of residential and commercial use including 66 units designated as affordable housing and 11 units that are accessible apartments for those with a physical disability or hearing/vision impairment. Each of the buildings earned the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Energy Star Homes designation as well as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes certification. The redevelopment was recently awarded the upstate region's Project of the Year by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH).

Affordable Family and Senior Housing - Erie County

Looking northwest towards the new affordable housing construction at the Former Pilgrim Village Apartments.

Former Pilgrim Village Apartments - Buffalo - Site Numbers C915362 and C915363

The Former Pilgrim Village Family Apartments (#C915362) and Former Pilgrim Village Senior Apartments (#C915363) are two related BCP sites in the City of Buffalo. The sites have both achieved a Track 1 cleanup that allows for unrestricted use of the sites. The two sites are currently under construction to build 124 units of affordable family and 98 units of affordable senior apartments. The redevelopment includes parking for apartment residents and visitors, playground, gardens, outdoor social areas, a community center, and limited retail space on the ground floor.

Greenpoint Landing Redevelopment - Kings County

Street view of the new affordable housing and commercial space at 45 Commercial Street.

45 Commercial Street - Brooklyn - Site Number C224304

The 45 Commercial Street site is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, near the junction of the East River and Newtown Creek. The site is within the 22-acre, multi-parcel Greenpoint Landing redevelopment project. Remediation under the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) was performed concurrently with site development. When completed, the site will be occupied by a mixed-use residential and commercial building with 374 residential affordable housing units and ground floor retail. The building is six stories with a 22-story tower set back from Commercial Street. Approximately 25% of the building lot will be open space with a mixture of hardscape and landscaped areas.

Joint Effort in Oswego Harbor - Oswego County

Aerial view of the harbor next to the power plant with booms deployed to contain the oil.

Breitbeck Park/Oswego Harbor Power - Oswego - Spill Number 2110280

DEC, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the City of Oswego worked together to quickly contain oil leaking from a storm line into Lake Ontario.

Overview: On March 8, 2022, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and DEC received a report of sheen in Oswego Harbor. That night, DEC and its contractor provided initial containment with harbor booms and oil absorbent pads. Upon investigation the following morning, DEC determined that oil from Oswego Harbor Power (OHP) entered a storm line and was discharging to the lake. OHP immediately shut down the oil line and retained a diver to install an inflatable plug in the affected storm sewer to prevent further contamination. The release ceased on March 11 when the plug was successfully installed. During this time, boats were deployed in the harbor to skim and collect any visible oil and cleanup along the shoreline of Breitbeck Park was ongoing. Oil was recovered from the lakeshore, harbor sediments, storm line where the oil entered the lake, and soil around the initial spill area. A total of 1,682 tons of contaminated soil were excavated and removed, approximately 1.5 million gallons of contaminated water were treated on site and discharged, and at least 44,500 gallons of oil were recovered. Site remediation and restoration activities are complete as of August 31, 2022 and monitoring is ongoing.

Live-Work-Play Center - Niagara County

Completed Remington Lofts complex

Remington Lofts - North Tonawanda - Site Number C932142

By providing cleanup oversight, liability relief, and tax credits for cleanup and redevelopment, the Brownfield Cleanup Program was instrumental in this site's transformation.

Overview: Once occupied by the Remington-Rand Corporation, this site had contamination which affected the soil and groundwater. There was no off-site contamination. The cleanup was performed by Remington Lofts on the Canal, LLC, with oversight from DEC. The current site owner acquired the property several years ago with the intent of creating a "live-work-play" center, combining residential and commercial uses.

New Industry and Clean Energy - Erie County

An SUV next to large wind turbines along the shore of Lake Erie.

Tecumseh Business Park - Lackawanna - Site Number C915205

A project in DEC's Brownfield Cleanup Program includes a $54 million new tubing manufacturing plant and $6 million rail line. The site also contains a fourteen-turbine wind farm that produces an estimated 35 mega watts of clean electric power. More recently, development began on a $36 million solar with 13,000 panels generating four megawatts per year. Future development plans include walking and cycling trails that would give the Lackawanna community waterfront access to Lake Erie for the first time in 120 years.

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