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$300,000 award for city to clean up former Augsbury Tank Farm

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OGDENSBURG — U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency is providing the city with $300,000 to help clean up the former Augsbury Tank Farm site.

The Augsbury site, located between Caroline and Patterson streets along the St. Lawrence River, is one of the city’s brownfield areas and plans have been developed by the city to decontaminate and redevelop it.

City Manager John M. Pinkerton said the money will enable the city to begin the process of cleaning up the Augsbury site, partnering with property owners and preparing for future redevelopment.

“It’s going to help find hot spots and potential underground areas that can be attacked,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

Andrea L. Smith, city planning and development director, said the money will be added to the city’s $1 million revolving loan fund. This fund allows property owners to decontaminate their land and then, when the money is repaid, the city can loan it to other people.

Ms. Smith said the new grant will help the city determine the full extent of the contamination at the Augsbury property.

Already the city has found some “anomalies” under the property, Ms. Smith said, where they believe pockets of contamination lie. These anomalies may include buried tanks or pipes.

“You will be seeing engineers down there,” Ms. Smith said. “The hope is that we will eventually be down there doing removal of contaminated soil, tanks and pipes.”

Ms. Smith said it will take several months to get the program up and running, but by spring 2014 she expects ground work will begin to remove the hazardous waste.

The project should wrap up in mid-2014, Ms. Smith said.

“This is an important investment for the city of Ogdensburg,” Sen. Gillibrand said in a press release. “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 eventual goal for the Augsbury site is to encourage the development of residential property, commercial space and waterfront park space which will contribute to the transformation of Ogdensburg into a regional tourist destination.

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