Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited Glen Cove Monday to announce new federal legislation that would offer grants for the revitalization of waterfront Brownfield sites in communities like Glen Cove.
"It's sites like this that saw some of the worst economic times," said Gillibrand of former industrial locations like the nearby Li Tungsten site, which went defunct as manufacturing evolved and left behind polluted production facilities.
Standing at the future site of the city's ferry terminal, close to several Brownfield superfund sites that have been mostly remediated, she called on government to assist communities with such picturesque waterfront properties and all their economic potential - communities whose waterfronts attracted environmentally damaging production because of the access to shipping.
"Now it's up to Congress to do our part and put the legislation in place," said Gillibrand, who is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
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The Waterfront Brownfields Revitalization Act would provide competitive grants for as much as $500,000 to eligible public entities and nonprofits that apply. It would also establish a task force commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the purpose of examining existing and potential funding and easing the process of making it happen.
The act would authorize $220 million each fiscal year between 2013-2017.
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi said the legislation would be a help to communities like his which are dealing with the leftovers of their industrial pasts.
"We did not create these problems, but it is we who are tasked with remediating them. This will help reverse almost a century's worth of environmental damage," he said.
Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island, an organization that works for "smart growth" of local communities, said in a statement: "Direct incentives are needed to revitalize LI's vacant waterfront properties. We are hopeful that the legislation advanced by Senator Gillibrand will move us past planning stages and towards redevelopment."
Glen Cove began a Waterfront Revitalization Plan in 1993 to address the cleanup and redevelopment of 214 acres on either side of the Glen Cove Creek. More than 50 acres along the creek's north bank have been remediated over the last decade, with the final brownfield site in that area, 10 Garvies Point Road, to begin remediation later this month.
The city received a Brownfield Pilot Grant from the EPA in 1997 and was designated a Brownfields Showcase Community a year later by the Brownfields National Partnership.
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