State and federal officials say environmental remediation of a proposed Glen Cove waterfront redevelopment site may be complete by the end of the year, after 20 years of work.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are continuing remediation of formerly industrial land on which Uniondale-based developer RXR Realty hopes to build Garvies Point, a $1 billion, 56-acre development that would include 1,110 condominium and rental units, parks, stores, marinas and other amenities.
The DEC, EPA, the city of Glen Cove, RXR and some companies involved earlier in the site have spent about $120 million remediating the land, which had been home to a metal-processing plant, salvage yard, oil storage tanks and other industrial uses, along with the city dump.
The most severely contaminated soil was removed to a depth of up to 15 feet, Heide-Marie Dudek, a DEC project manager, said at a recent DEC meeting in Glen Cove on the remediation. Much of the contaminated soil was taken to a DEC-approved landfill.
Some less contaminated soil was then covered with 2 feet of clean soil. Multifamily condo and apartment buildings can be constructed directly atop less contaminated soil, said Lorenzo Thantu, a remedial project manager for EPA.
But the DEC is proposing to remove some of the less contaminated soil to protect groundwater that tests showed still had a low level of contamination, Dudek said.
The DEC’s goal is to complete remediation of its portion of the RXR development site later this year, the agency said.
The EPA oversees remediation of another chunk of land and plans to hold a public meeting on its proposed final remediation in the next few weeks, Thantu said. If the proposed remediation plan is approved, the agency hopes to finish it this summer, he said.
The DEC and EPA sites compose most of the RXR development site. Another 4 acres are not part of DEC or EPA remediation. They were previously home to offices, said Frank Haftel, director of the Garvies Point project for RXR.
Despite assertions by the DEC, EPA and state Department of Health that, once land is cleared for construction, people who would live in or use Garvies Point would not be at higher risk for cancer or other diseases, some critics of the project remain unconvinced.
“It concerns me there might be children playing there,” Glen Cove resident Joan Harrison, 65, said at the recent DEC meeting.
Sea Cliff resident Roger Street Friedman, 53, one of 105 plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to nullify the city planning board’s approval of a special-use permit for Garvies Point, said government agencies are putting too much trust in the city and RXR, which are responsible for taking some soil samples.
“You’re relying on people who stand to make a lot of money” on the development, he said.
Dudek said an independent laboratory analyzes the samples.