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Sun., Oct. 4
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Brownfields assessment hearing May 8 in Ogdensburg


Ogdensburg’s Department of Planning and Development will host a public meeting May 8 at 7 p.m. at the Dobisky Visitor Center, 100 Riverside Ave., to discuss city’s Brownfield Assessment Program.

The program is funded with two grants totaling $320,000 that were awarded to the city last fall by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA will seek property owners’ permission to conduct environmental site assessments on eligible Brownfield sites in the city that are contaminated with petroleum products and/or hazardous substances.

City Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith said Tuesday that the assessments include researching a site’s past use — a gas station, for example — and, if necessary, soil borings and other tests to determine the extent of contamination. The cost of each assessment will vary with the size of the property and the scope of the work.

“This is all going to be site specific,” she said.’

Property owners will not have to contribute to the cost of investigation.

EPA, according to Ms. Smith, defines a brownfield site as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”

Priority Brownfield sites will specifically focus on the city’s Waterfront Brownfield Opportunity Area, which is a 330-acre section of waterfront property that includes at least 15 known brownfield sites with many more parcels within the zone suspected of contamination.

A main goal of the assessment program, Ms. Smith said, will be to educate property owners and community stakeholders on the benefits of assessing and cleaning up the numerous Brownfield sites in the waterfront in order to achieve the following:

n Mixed land and water-related uses to ensure that working waterfronts, water-dependent, and public access uses remain a viable and stable part of the waterfront.

n Compact community design to optimize waterfront and water-based activities.

n A range of housing opportunities and choices to meet the needs of both seasonal and permanent residents.

n Walkable waterfronts and shoreline communities with visual and physical access to and along the waterfront for public use.

The EPA grant funds will also be used to conduct community outreach and cleanup planning activities.

The City is working with environmental engineering consultants Barton & Loguidice in the program. Staff will be available from 4 to 5:30 p.m. that day to assist anyone who is unable to attend the meeting.

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