November 05, 2009

Gillibrand Urges Feds To Fund Brownfields Program To Clean Up Ogdensburg Waterfront

Site Is Contaminated By Metal, Petroleum, And Hydrocarbons

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to provide federal funding for the City of Ogdensburg. The federal dollars from the Brownfield's Program would be used to clean up the city's waterfront area for redevelopment, specifically the former Standard Shade Roller property.

In her letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senator Gillibrand wrote, "The brownfields along Ogdensburg's waterfront are currently preventing the development of valuable properties for increased use in the promotion of the region's beauty for tourism purposes.  This funding will allow the City to make critical investments into its land for economic development and environmental restoration."

"The opportunity for us in Brownfield remediation is to focus on the sites along the St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie Rivers and convert them to desperately needed, quality, market rate and affordable housing and mixed use buildings," said Arthur Sciorra, City Manager. "In today's economy, the most important thing is to make sure that our local residents are able to take advantage of the economic opportunities created through programs such as the Brownfield Cleanup Program and the Revolving Loan Fund. This can result in quality green jobs, including weatherization, installation of solar panels, and the latest sustainable construction techniques."

Ogdensburg has applied for two grants within the Brownsfield Program, the Cleanup Grant and the Revolving Loan Grant. The first will fund the cleanup of the Shade Roller factory.  The site is contaminated by metal as well as volatile and semi-volatile compounds, including petroleum and hydrocarbons.  The grant would include $127,500 to remove approximately 1,100 tons of contaminated soil, $75,000 to identify and remove hazardous materials from on-site buildings, and $10,000 for ground water monitoring.

The second application will allow Ogdensburg to establish and capitalize on a revolving loan fund to make loans and provide sub-grants to landowners and developers to carry out brownfield cleanup activities.