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Glen Cove site cleanup nearly done, NY, federal agencies say

Work at the groundbreaking of Garvies Point, the

Work at the groundbreaking of Garvies Point, the $1 billion mixed-use redevelopment of nearly 60 acres of Glen Cove's waterfront on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 in Glen Cove. Credit: Howard Schnapp

State and federal environmental agencies say they expect to finish final reports on the cleanup of the Garvies Point waterfront development in Glen Cove by the end of January.

If the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sign off on the remediation reports, that would constitute a determination that the site is environmentally safe to build on, with some restrictions.

Uniondale-based RXR Glen Isle Partners is constructing 1,110 condos and apartments, parks, stores, offices, restaurants, marinas, an esplanade and other amenities on 56 acres.

The DEC, EPA, the city of Glen Cove, RXR and some companies that in past years had operations on the site have spent more than 20 years and 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.

EPA has completed physical work on the site, agency spokesman Elias Rodriguez said in an email. DEC is still finishing work on one part of the site and has finished remediation on the three other parts of the site the agency is overseeing, the DEC said in an email.

The remediation over the past several months has been to clean up isolated spots of contamination on the site and to protect groundwater, the two agencies said.

Officials with the two agencies have assured residents that, once remediation is deemed complete, people who would live in or use Garvies Point would not be at higher risk for cancer or other diseases.

But some opponents of the project have continued to voice health concerns, asking why, if pockets of contamination had been missed in the past, other contamination won’t be missed in the latest remediation.

Officials with the two agencies have said that, even after Garvies Point is built, tests of the land and air will continue to ensure public safety.

EPA and DEC officials had said in April they expected remediation to be completed by the end of 2016.

DEC said its portion of the remediation took longer than expected because tests led the agency to remove more soil than initially projected.

Rodriguez said the EPA’s review of remediation and its reports on the cleanup are taking longer than anticipated.

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