Albany County is home to many long-standing manufacturing, industrial and commercial activities. These activities have resulted in a large number of potentially contaminated properties that are abandoned or underutilized. Many of these sites are located in prime locations, close to transportation facilities and utilities. Albany County is working to help put these sites to the best possible use.
In 2001, Albany County was awarded a $200,000 grant by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot. The County is focusing this grant on properties located within the Albany County Empire Zone.
The EPA Brownfields program addresses redevelopment models, directs special efforts toward removing regulatory barriers without sacrificing protectiveness, and facilitates coordinated site assessments, environmental cleanup and redevelopment. The grant will enable Albany County to bring together a variety of community groups, investors, lenders, developers and other parties interested in economic redevelopment to address hazardous waste sites and return them to appropriate, productive use.
Albany County's objectives are to assess, characterize and prioritize brownfield properties while removing some of the uncertainty surrounding liability for cleanup at sites in the Albany County Empire Zone. To achieve this objective, the Pilot will fund community outreach, site identification, Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, and cleanup planning.
Additional information about Albany County Empire Zone properties, including maps of each sub-zone, can be found here.
Activities planned as part of this Pilot include:
- Developing a master list of potential brownfields sites within the Empire Zone;
- Establishing a Brownfields Task Force to facilitate community outreach and participation in the Pilot redevelopment process;
- Performing six to ten Phase I environmental site assessments at sites within the Pilot area; and
- Selecting one or two sites for Phase II site assessments and focusing County efforts on redevelopment of those properties.
This program will enable Albany County to inventory and assess properties in several of the County's older urban areas, and current and former military instillations, located in the Albany County Empire Zone. Many of Albany County's older communities, which served as centers for manufacturing and industry along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, struggle with long-standing industrial and commercial properties plagued by real or perceived environmental contamination. The County's brownfields program will work to identify, assess and prepare these sites for redevelopment and reuse, and develop a mechanism for environmental remediation for priority sites. Through cooperation with local, state and federal government agencies and community organizations, the County will establish a blueprint for returning brownfields sites to productive use.
For additional information, please contact:
Sean M. Maguire, Senior Economic Development Planner (518) 447-5660