Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00
In a publicly released report, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Health recently recommended a cleanup at the former Avis Headquarters at 900 Old Country Road in Carle Place.
While both entities claimed that the site “does not pose a significant threat to public health or the environment,” the NYSDEC, in compliance with the New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, recently offered measures to address contamination at the site.
According to NYS, the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties known as brownfields so that they can be reused and redeveloped. These uses may include recreation, housing, business or other uses.
The DEC describes a brownfield as “any real property that is difficult to reuse or redevelop because of the presence or potential presence of contamination.”
According to the DEC, previous manufacturing operations have resulted in impacts by metals, petroleum and chlorinated solvents to soil, soil vapor and groundwater. The site has been vacant since 2001, with the exception of an active furniture store adjacent to the former Avis building, the report noted.
In its findings, the DEC said all locations where soil sample results have been found to exceed the Unrestricted Use Criteria will be excavated and disposed off-site. This will result in the removal of all soil contamination from the site.
Also according to the DEC, groundwater will be remedied through the injection of chemicals into the aquifer, which will result in the chemical destruction or immobilization of the contaminants. The chemicals, which include oxidants and metal reducers, will be injected into on-site wells and will react with the contaminants to form nontoxic byproducts.
It is estimated that activities to clean up the site will take about three months with an additional nine months of monitoring, the DEC wrote in a report.
The NYSDEC previously accepted an application from the applicant to participate in the Brownfield Cleanup Program. The application proposes that the site will be used for redevelopment as a retail shopping mall, with an unrestricted use cleanup standard met by the applicant, Equity One Inc.
According to the Equity One’s website, the current property is described as one featuring “strong middle-income demographics that will support a ground-up development of this size and benefit from the strong daytime population of nearly 400,000 within the trade area.”
Equity One also owns several properties in the area, including those of the Costco, Wal-Mart, Marshalls, Sports Authority and Ruby Tuesday stores at 1220-1250 Old Country Road.
The 21.8-acre site, recently deemed “The Gallery at Westbury Plaza,” is located in a commercial and light industrial area south of Old Country Road and includes five buildings and a large parking lot. One three-story building consists of offices. Three of the buildings in the center and southern portion of the site were used for electronics manufacturing and sonar testing for the military from the late 1940s into the 1960s.
The same buildings were used from 1980 until 2001 as the headquarters for Avis Corp. and for rental car storage and maintenance. To date, the site has undergone several investigations, most recently the Remedial Investigation (RI) performed by the applicant. All site buildings have been demolished, with the exception of the furniture store (Thomasville Furniture), which is planned for demolition in the fall of 2011.
NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the proposed remedy through Sept. 23. Submit written comments to: Jeffrey Dyber, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation-Central Office, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-7015.