Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with U.S. Representative Richard Hanna, called on the Army Corps of Engineers to swiftly consider and approve Mohawk Valley EDGE’s appeal to have Special Condition No. 1 removed from their site development permit. The appeal, filed this week, asks USACE to issue a new permit without the burdensome provision that is preventing site preparation. USACE has previously issued a permit to the Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises (EDGE) that is currently preparing the property, but the permit included Special Condition No. 1, which stipulates that wetlands cannot be disturbed until the facility has a confirmed tenant. The inability to move forward with site preparation and construction plans has made it more difficult to attract a chip manufacturing company. Schumer, Gillibrand and Hanna believe that USACE should quickly approve Marcy’s appeal and issue a permit that allows Mohawk EDGE to move forward with site preparations and construction, so that the facility can in turn attract a world-class, job-creating high-technology tenant.
“The Marcy Nanocenter would be a huge boon for the Mohawk Valley and we need to push it forward, not hold it back,” said Schumer. “I strongly urge the Army Corps to accept the appeal to have this handcuffing provision removed from the permit so that development of the site can move full steam ahead. We need to eliminate the unnecessary roadblocks that are standing in the way of progress and swiftly develop this site that could potentially result in thousands of new jobs for the region.”
“We can’t afford to let red tape and bureaucracy stand in the way of the potential for a powerful economic engine for the Mohawk Valley,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The Army Corps needs to quickly offer a final review of EDGE’s appeal to lift this restriction so we can move forward on building up our high-tech economy, and creating the jobs of the future right here.”
“I believe EDGE has a strong case for its appeal and urge the Army Corps of Engineers to review the case and expeditiously render its judgment,” Hanna said. “If EDGE succeeds in attracting a Nanocenter to the Mohawk Valley it would mean unprecedented economic growth for Central New York and I urge the Corps to grant the appeal.”
Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises (EDGE) has been preparing a property in Marcy, NY to market as a potential site for location of a $2-4 billion computer chip manufacturing facility which could host several thousand new jobs. A similar project is already underway in Saratoga County at the GlobalFoundries’ semiconductor chip fab plant in Luther Forest Technology Park, Malta NY. It is the largest construction project in the nation. High-tech chip companies are already preparing for the next generation of manufacturing, which will follow fast on the heels of the GlobalFoundaries effort. According to EDGE, several international computer chip companies have expressed an interest in this location.
EDGE has been working with USACE Buffalo District to obtain a permit for site preparations to attract a semiconductor manufacturer. Throughout the process, EDGE has sought a permit that would allow them to market the site to a semiconductor manufacturer. USACE has been willing to issue a permit, but because an end user for the site has not yet been identified, they have included a provision called “special condition No. 1” in the permit. Special condition No. 1 would prohibit EDGE from disturbing existing wetlands on the site until a semiconductor manufacturer has committed to the project site for the stated project purpose in the permit. EDGE believes that special condition No. 1 limits the marketability of the site, as potential tenants are unwilling to commit to the facility while uncertainty surrounds the permitting process.
The text of the letter signed by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Representative Hanna, appears below:
Major General Merdith Temple
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Great Lakes Division
550 Main Street, Room 10031
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Dear Major General Temple:
We write to request an expedited review of the formal appeal to Permit No. 2001-00890 submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) by Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises (EDGE). Mohawk Valley EDGE is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development and enhancement of economic opportunities in Oneida and Herkimer Counties in New York State, and has been actively engaged in the development of a nanotechnology manufacturing facility in Marcy, New York.
The appeal, submitted on June 13, 2011, formally objects to the ‘Special Condition No.1’ provision which was included in the USACE permit offered to EDGE as it works to develop the nanotechnology manufacturing site in Oneida County.
Within the appeal document, you will find detailed information as to why Special Condition No.1 inhibits Mohawk Valley EDGE’s ability to both market and develop the nanotechnology manufacturing site, preventing them from securing an end user tenant.
As representatives working with Mohawk Valley EDGE on this project, we request a timely review of their formal appeal, particularly given the lengthy period of time the permitting process has required. This nanotechnology project is of great importance to New York State’s nanotechnology industry and to the economic development of the Mohawk Valley region. Further, we urge USACE to give close consideration to the removal of Special Condition No.1 from the permit to allow EDGE to move ahead with the development and marketing of the site.
Each of us has devoted a great deal of time and attention to this critical project, working together to bring this fast-growing industry and the highly skilled technology jobs associated with it to a region of New York State poised for success.
Thank you for your time and attention to this request. Please, do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information or assistance.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
Member of Congress