July 16, 2013

Gillibrand Announces $300,000 in EPA Funding to Ogdensburg for Clean-Up at Brownfield Site

Federal Funding Supports Gillibrand’s Broad Effort to Revitalize Communities, Attract New Businesses, Create Jobs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide $300,000 to the City of Ogdensburg for the clean-up of the former Augsbury Tank Farm site, to be used to build a mixed use development along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River. Federal funding was awarded through EPA’s Brownfields Program, which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated properties.

Last month, Senator Gillibrand wrote to EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, urging the agency to support the City of Ogdensburg in their effort to clean up and redevelop the Brownfield site.

“This is an important investment for the City of Ogdensburg,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Federal funding will help revitalize neighborhoods, attract new businesses, create new jobs, and make our waterfront a place for North Country residents to live, work and raise a family.

 

“The opportunity for us to remediate the City’s waterfront property is critical to our future,” said Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson. “This funding is central to the city’s commercial development and the area’s housing and tourism strategies. We are all greatly appreciative of Senator Gillibrand’s efforts on behalf of our proposal.”

 

“We are thrilled to receive this much-needed Supplemental Revolving Loan Fund assistance from the EPA,” Ogdensburg City Manager John Pinkerton said. “These funds will enable us to continue our work reclaiming our City’s waterfront in line with our community vision as a place for people to once again live, work, and play. This would not have happened without the concerted efforts of Senator Ritchie’s office working with Senator Gillibrand’s office to assist with Ogdensburg’s request.  On behalf of the City of Ogdensburg, we thank Senator Gillibrand for her stalwart advocacy.”

 

The Augsbury Tank Farm site is a crucial part of the city’s plans for redevelopment. The city plans to redevelop the Augsbury site by partnering with Vita Nuova to construct a mixed-use development consisting of 192 residential units, 5,000-8,000 square-feet of commercial space and waterfront park space. The City estimates that this redevelopment could create up to 100 construction jobs and 30 to 50 full-time jobs. The clean-up and redevelopment of the site, which comprises four separate parcels and previously contained a major oil storage facility, is critical to the revitalization of the City’s waterfront area, which is central to the area’s economic development.

 

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.

 

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 clean-up 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 clean-up, construction and redevelopment.

 

Below is text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to EPA Acting Administrator Perciasepe:

 

 

June 19, 2013

 

 

Bob Perciasepe

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20460

 

Dear Administrator Perciasepe,

 

I write in support of the application submitted by the City of Ogdensburg for funding from the Supplemental Revolving Loan Fund Program through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This funding will help the City’s cleanup of the former Augsbury Tank Farm Site.

 

            The City of Ogdensburg is in the process of planning interim remedial measure (IRM) cleanup activities at the former Augsbury Tank Farm Site. The former Augsbury Tank Farm site, which consists of 23 acres of prime, vacant real estate situated on the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, is contained within the City’s 330 acre Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA).

 

            The requested funding will be used to start cleanup activities on the Augsbury Tank Farm site. The city plans to redevelop the Augsbury site by partnering with Vita Nuova to construct a mixed-use development consisting of 192 residential units, 5,000-8,000 square feet of commercial space and waterfront park space. The City estimates that this redevelopment will create up to 100 construction jobs and 30-50 full-time jobs. The cleanup and redevelopment of the site, which comprises four separate parcels and previously contained a major oil storage facility, is critical to the revitalization of the City’s waterfront area, which is central to the area’s economic development.

 

I ask that you please give this application your full consideration.  If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member Andrew Usyk at (202) 224-4451.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senator