Brownfield is a term used in modern day urban planning to best describe land previously used for industrial purposes or commercial use. This land may have been contaminated with hazardous waste or pollution or at the very least thought to be polluted requiring testing prior to any development.
A City-owned 1.4-acre underutilized property in the Bronx was formerly the location of a railroad freight yard, provisions facility and gas station/auto-repair facility. A prestigious development team wanted to redevelop the property for affordable housing and commercial use. However, the presence of soil, groundwater and soil vapor impacts along with suspected underground petroleum storage tanks significantly complicated the purchase and redevelopment of the property.
CA RICH worked in cooperation with the developer and the City to have the property accepted into the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) under the auspices of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Once accepted, the development team was able to purchase the property from the City and perform the BCP Cleanup in concert with redevelopment.
Remedial action included: 1) Excavation and proper off-site disposal of soil/fill exceeding agreed-upon Site-Specific Soil Action Levels, 2) Construction of an engineered composite cover consisting of a two-foot clean fill buffer in all landscaped/non-capped areas along with concrete building foundations, sidewalks/pathways and asphalt roadways, 3) Removal of six USTs, one hydraulic lift, and associated petroleum-contaminated soil, 4) In-situ Chemical Oxidation of shallow groundwater and on-going post-remedial monitoring, 5) Installation of a vapor barrier and active sub-slab depressurization (SSD) system, 6) Execution and recording of an Environmental Easement, and 7) Development and implementation of a Site Management Plan. The completion of the BCP Cleanup qualified the team to receive a Certificate of Completion including a release of third party liability as well as generous tax credits.
This occupied property is now a multi-family residential complex designed and constructed to exceed the United States Green Building Council’s LEED® Gold standard (as well as the standards of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA’s) Multifamily Performance Program and the Enterprise Green Community) for environmentally responsible and energy-efficient building design.