After years of tests and feasibility studies, the long-awaited clean-up of the 28-acre former Anaconda property at the north end of our waterfront is expected to begin in the next two years. The DEC has issued its assessment of how the off-shore portion of the waterfront would require to be remediated. Once public comments are integrated into this Preliminary Remediation Action Plan (PRAP), NY State will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) early this summer specifying the remedy.
Once this is issued, BP will be moving into the design phase of the clean-up which is envisioned to last between eighteen months and two years. This design phase consists of the detailed engineering planning required to implement the requirements of the ROD.
The Village Board of Trustees (“The Board”) and BP have agreed that it is advisable to install as much site infrastructure as possible during the clean-up process so that future disturbances are minimized. In addition, BP is required, through the 2003 Consent Decree, to provide the Village with a minimum of 6.25 acres of open space (parks and esplanade). BP will also be constructing new bulkheads or other structures along the water’s edge, and the Village should determine locations for river access for piers, boat docks, small boat launches and other water uses so that provisions can be made for them in the river edge design.
BP has asked the Board to provide its engineers with information regarding the location of these site elements and infrastructure so that they can be included in the remedial design for the site. A basic site plan of the parks and roads are sufficient at this stage, though the Village may work with BP’s engineers in the future on design and construction documents for the public spaces (i.e. materials, planting, lighting, drainage, etc.).
The Board of Trustees agreed in January of this year that this advice would be best provided by an ad hoc committee formed of diverse and appropriately skilled village residents. These residents would constitute a Waterfront Infrastructure Committee that will be responsible for delivering a preliminary site infrastructure plan that includes the location of streets, parks and an esplanade, and key water access points for the entire waterfront. The Committee will also work with the Village and BP’s engineers to locate the infrastructure for utilities that must be installed (e.g. sewer lines, underground stream) (possibly under the site’s contact barrier and soil cover) and common utility ducts that can house future utilities.
While the BP site only covers the northern 28 acres of the 42 acre site, it is the opinion of the Board that any Village recommendation, especially in regards to roads, must cover the full site in order for it to be practical and comprehensive. As a result, while the recommendation of the Committee should focus on the BP site, consideration should include recommendations concerning infrastructure on the entire waterfront for planning purposes.