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EPA Completes Steps to Transfer Access Road to Warren and Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency to Support Community Redevelopment

06/18/2020
Contact Information: 
Larisa Romanowski (romanowski.larisa@epa.gov )
(518) 407-0400

Albany, N.Y.  – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its work to transfer ownership of an access road used for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site cleanup to the Warren and Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency (WWIDA). The transfer of EPA’s ownership interest supports community efforts to redevelop the location of General Electric’s former sediment processing facility, located in the town of Fort Edward, New York.

“We are very pleased to have helped support the smooth transition of the access road to the WWIDA to promote productive reuse of the former processing facility,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This was achieved through proactive, collaborative engagement, a shared community vision, and the Agency’s dedication to Superfund site redevelopment. I would like to particularly thank the WWIDA, the Washington County Board of Supervisors and County agencies, the town and village of Fort Edward, the town of Kingsbury, the New York State Canal Corporation as well as US Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congresswoman Stefanik, NYS Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner for their cooperation and assistance.”

“Ever since I visited the Fort Edward Industrial Park In 2018, I have tried to help the town and the county IDA to help develop the terrific space,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “Transferring the ownership of this road has been a thicket of multi-agency red tape, and I worked hard with all stakeholders to get it done. I appreciate Pete Lopez and his team at EPA for their hard work and know that resolving this issue will be key in bringing jobs to the site.”

“The completion of the dredging project left a prime piece of property with many valuable assets built by GE during the dredging project,” said WWIDA Chairman Dave O’Brien. “This site has attracted interest from a number of businesses, however durable access over Lock 8 Way to the facility was an issue. The leadership of Pete Lopez, Regional Administrator of the EPA, proved instrumental in transferring the access road from EPA ownership to the IDA,  clearing the way for WL Plastic to acquire a portion of the site and being able to make a welcome investment in Fort Edward and Washington County bringing employment opportunities to our residents. This also allows further development of the site potentially attracting more investment in the Industrial Park.”

“It’s taken a lot of effort and persistence to get to this point, which is now very gratifying,” said Senator Betty Little (NY-45). “I could not be more thankful to the EPA and to everyone who has had a role in making this happen. Transferring ownership of the access road is to say the least a critical piece of the puzzle which will enable this site to become something that attracts economic investment and new activity so important to Fort Edward’s future.”

“The transfer of the access roadway will pave the way for future private investment to create jobs in Washington County,” said Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (NY-113). “It is very encouraging to see the cooperation across all levels of government to make certain that the region can optimize the reuse of this Superfund site. I am very pleased to have been able to play a role helping to sustain and grow economic development in the 113th Assembly District.”

“I am very pleased to see the transfer of ownership of this access road to the WWIDA,” said Assemblyman Dan Stec (NY-114). “Transitioning the de-watering property back into an economic development site is in the best interest for Fort Edward and surrounding communities.”

“The transfer of the access road is the first step towards enhancing the usage of the former Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site,” said Washington County Board of Supervisors Chairman Samuel J. Hall. “The EPA and the WWIDA are to be commended for taking the positive action designed to benefit the residence of the Town of Fort Edward and Washington County through Industrial Development.”

"Fort Edward greatly appreciates all of the efforts from the EPA, NYS Canal Corp and the WWIDA with getting this deal done,” said Fort Edward Mayor Matt Traver. “They realized having a clear right of way into the site was only way to develop the incredible asset that we have. We currently have WL Plastics working through the planning/zoning process and will soon begin construction on their facility. The hard work from WWIDA Chairman O'Brien and others will help bring in additional jobs and business into Fort Edward which will have economic benefits for the entire region." 

“The Fort Edward Local Property Development Corporation is excited for this major step into redeveloping the former GE Dewatering site, and would like to thank the WWIDA, EPA and the NYS Canal Corp for all the work they did to make this happen,” said Fort Edward Local Property Development Corporation Representative Zachary Middleton.

“Many thanks to the EPA for their swift transfer of the access road in Fort Edward Canalside Business Park to the local Warren Washington County IDA,” said Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Michael Bittel. “This type of interagency cooperation will help us attract new businesses, which means new jobs and more tax revenue to support our communities. Thank you to EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez and WWIDA Chairman Dave O’Brien for your leadership.”  

“We appreciate the considerable efforts of the EPA and Warren and Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency to expeditiously transfer the access road that will lead to the redevelopment of the site for commercial businesses,” said WL Plastics Corporation CEO Mark Wason. “We are excited to be the anchor business for redevelopment efforts, and believe this community is a great fit for WL Plastics, and vice versa.”

Local government has been interested in productive reuse of the facility since GE finished dredging a 40-mile section of the Upper Hudson River, between Fort Edward and Troy, NY, in 2015. In November 2019, EPA was approached about the potential redevelopment by a private party of a portion of the sediment processing facility. In order for the redevelopment to occur, access to the facility is needed via the EPA-owned portion of an access road known as Lock 8 Way. The EPA-owned portion extends from near the former processing facility in the town of Fort Edward, north into the town of Kingsbury, where it ends near the intersection with Route 196.

EPA closely coordinated and cooperated with the WWIDA, other local governmental entities and the New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC), and decided that the WWIDA would be best suited to facilitate the redevelopment as the recipient of EPA’s access road. Since then, EPA and the WWIDA have been working together to transfer the access road to the WWIDA. Two other properties, a wharf and marina owned by EPA and used in the cleanup, are planned to be transferred to the NYSCC.  The transfers are all authorized by the federal Superfund law.

Background:

In 2008, EPA acquired three properties (access road, wharf, and marina) that were needed for the construction and use of the sediment processing facility for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site.

In 2016, following the completion of the dredging work, GE’s 100-acre sediment processing facility in Fort Edward, which was built to dewater and transport dredged sediment off-site, was shut down and decontaminated in accordance with an EPA-approved facility demobilization and restoration plan. Elements of the facility’s infrastructure were left in place to support future redevelopment efforts.

In 2018, the owner of the processing facility property, WCC LLC, transferred it to the Fort Edward Local Property Development Corporation, which sought to sell the property for redevelopment. However, EPA still owned most of the Lock 8 Way access road, which is needed for access to the facility. There are small portions of Lock 8 Way owned by others that are also being transferred to the WWIDA.

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