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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) (1.4 MB).

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

Site in remediation with wind turbine in background

Tecumseh Business Park - Lackawanna - Site Number 915197

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 an eight turbine wind farm that produces an estimated 20 mega watts of clean electric power.

Urban Park - Queens County, New York City

Elmhurst Park sign

Newtown - Elmhurst Former Gas Holders- Queens - Site Number V00406

Site owners intended to sell this property for commercial purposes. After community groups expressed the need for a public park, however, the owners agreed to sell the land to New York City for $1.

Overview: This property once contained two gas tanks. An investigation determined that the entire site was covered by soil contaminated with lead. Both the soil and tanks were disposed of off-site. Following cleanup, the property was donated to New York City (NYC) to be developed as a park and a community center. The $20-million six-acre project included a new playground, lighting, new trees and landscaping, and walking paths. The project received the Big Apple Brownfield Open Space Award from the New York City Brownfield Partnership.

Revitalization of Abandoned Lot - Albany County

Jared Holt townhouses

Former Jared Holt Manufacturing - City of Albany - Site Number B00005

Participation in DEC's Environmental Restoration Program allowed the City of Albany to complete an important phase of its South End Revitalization Project.

Overview: This property has a history of industrial use. The former Jared Holt Manufacturing Company made "stitching wax" used on shoes. The company used drums and storage containers for chemicals. Poor controls on the handling of these products lead to spillage and other releases of various products onto the site. The cleanup was performed by the City of Albany Industrial Development Agency with oversight from DEC. After the site was cleaned up, the City constructed townhouses that not only reclaim the site but retain the look of historic Albany architecture -- meeting National Historic District guidelines.

Underground Storage Tank Removal and Cleanup - Warren County

leaking underground storage tank removed from elementary school

Abraham Wing Elementary School - Glens Falls -- Site Number 1009793

DEC staff provided a quick response to an underground storage tank failure at a school in Glens Falls, New York.

Overview: An underground storage tank failure at Abraham Wing Elementary School caused the subsurface release of fuel oil. The Glens Falls fire company responded to the report and called DEC's spill hotline after oil started bubbling up in a neighbor's basement sump and staff began noticing petroleum orders in the school. Over the first two weeks of the spill response, the underground storage tank and excavated contaminated soil were removed from the school. In addition, a groundwater treatment and vapor mitigation system were established at the impacted residence and a vapor mitigation system was installed in the school. A multi-well groundwater treatment system was established on the school property to remediate the oil plume. The site is in operation and maintenance status.

New High-Tech Company - Ulster County

Aerial view of Plasmaco building

Former Panasonic Display - City of Highland - Site Number 356041

After cleanup through the State Superfund Program, this site was sold to Prism Solar Technologies for the production of solar panels.

Overview: The original on-site building was first used as an apple processing facility. The facility discharged process wastewater (apple wash water) through floor drains into underground storage tanks. Plasmaco began leasing the facility in 1987 for the manufacture of plasma displays. Caustics and acids were utilized in the manufacturing process. Site investigation found limited impacts to soil due to the former use as an apple processing plant and residual impacts to groundwater resulting from an old fuel spill. The cleanup was performed by the Panasonic Corporation of North America, with oversight from DEC. Current operations, under Prism Solar Technologies, use a combination of clean rooms, production areas, offices, shops and storage space.

Affordable Housing - Bronx, New York City

Completed Crotona Park building

1800 Southern Boulevard - Bronx - Program Site Number C203046

This project, located at the intersection of Boston Road and Southern Boulevard at East 17th Street in the Bronx, won a Big Apple Brownfield Award in May 2012.

Overview: This property once contained a gas station, repair shop and car wash. SB 1800 LLC entered into a Brownfield Cleanup Agreement (BCA) with DEC to investigate and remediate the site. The investigation found gasoline contamination in soil, groundwater and soil vapor. Remediation of the site consisted of the removal and off-site disposal of underground storage tanks and contaminated soil and historic fill. In addition, contaminated groundwater was removed and treated. DEC staff worked very closely with the applicant and project consultants to ensure timely review and approval of work plans, and to assist at all stages of the program.

New Municipal Building - Jefferson County

New municipal building for the Town and Village of Adams

Town and Village of Adams - Site Number B00156

This once abandoned site is now used as a village office in addition to space for the South Jefferson Rescue Squad.

Overview: This site consists of two parcels -- one was used as a car dealership and several small gas stations -- the other was used as a gas station and auto dealership. The primary contaminants of concern were related to petroleum products which leaked and/or were directly dumped onsite. DEC conducted a cleanup at both parcels. Site investigations found that the remediation successfully addressed onsite contamination. Institutional controls are in place to prevent the reuse of groundwater for drinking water and to provide for the use of vapor barriers.

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