Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced last week that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide $815,000 to Nassau County for cleanup of the Doxey site in Glen Cove, which is the final brownfield site in Glen Cove’s Waterfront Redevelopment Area to be cleaned. Federal funding was awarded through EPA’s Brownfields Program, which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated properties.
Last year, Senator Gillibrand stood at Glen Cove Ferry Terminal and Boat Basin and announced legislation to revitalize inactive industrial sites. Senator Gillibrand’s Waterfront Brownfields Revitalization Act would award similar grants to local government and nonprofit organizations that redevelop abandoned, idled or underused industrial properties on waterfronts.
“This is an important investment for Glen Cove’s Waterfront Redevelopment Area,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Federal funding will help revitalize neighborhoods, attract new businesses, create new jobs, and make our waterfront a place for Long Islanders to live, work and raise a family.
“The city and its agencies are grateful to the EPA for awarding these federal funds that will allow us to complete the remediation of the final property in the Waterfront Redevelopment Area,” said Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi. “I thank Senator Gillibrand for her leadership on this issue and to all of the elected officials and federal, state and county agencies who have worked with us over the last two decades as we approach this great milestone.”
The Doxey site is a crucial part of the city’s plans for redevelopment. The Waterfront Redevelopment Area will include a hotel, conference center, residential units, retail shops, restaurants and parks along Glen Cove Creek. This brownfields redevelopment will create jobs, clean up contamination, provide housing and recreational opportunities and increase tax revenues. It is anticipated that the completion of the Waterfront Redevelopment Area project will create 7000 temporary construction jobs and 750 direct permanent jobs.
If left untouched, brownfields can be harmful to surrounding environments and habitats diminishing access for both economic and recreational access and opportunities and the associated quality of life in these communities. As with the case in Glen Cove: At least 38 acres of tidal habitat in Hempstead Harbor were impacted by contaminants, reducing the quality of habitat available for fish, wildlife, and shellfish; and, elevated concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, and metals were identified in the sediment of Glen Cove Creek.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. The EPA’s Brownfields Program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. The EPA’s brownfields investments overall have leveraged more than $20 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources and on average, $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent. The funds have enabled the support of 90,000 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.