Representatives from Connell Foley, GEI, Honeywell and BASF presented various multi-party remediation models and success stories on sites along waterways. Honeywell representative, John Morris, praised the collaborative model that included USEPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and a non-government organization (NGO), the NY Buffalo Riverkeeper, which resulted in the successful cleanup of the Buffalo River. The river, a 6.2 mile, $44 million Superfund site, was a cost sharing initiative with USEPA that began with the urging from local citizens of the Buffalo River grass roots group.
Roger Hathaway, GEI, discussed the former manufactured gas plant site of the Elizabeth River in Virginia. This collaborative model was a partnership of both public and private sector interests and The Elizabeth River Project, a non-profit; a utility, Columbia Gas; and the Virginia Marine Resource Council. They all joined forces to initiate cleanup of the river’s contaminated soil sediment in a project that moved expediently.
Mr. Reid-Green from BASF presented his view of the obstacles faced during the continued cleanup of the Passaic River. Issues and conflicts arose among NJ regulators forced to take a conservative stance in their decision making, lack of developer involvement and distrust and disagreement from local NGOs, all of which have stalled the cleanup of the Passaic River. The result is a 30 year redevelopment time horizon for properties along the river, which is way too long. The important challenge that he put to BCONE members and the attendees of the Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop is the crucial need for the community and stakeholders who want to see redevelopment to involve themselves in multi-party waterfront remediations. The redevelopment and citizen interest groups must emphasize the end uses that are important to the community so they are factored into river cleanup endeavors.
Takeaway from the two success stories and the ongoing Passaic River project: Forming partnerships early and establishing a common goal with more collaboration are tactics vital to getting cleanup off the ground.
Thanks to Denise Capparelli of CCLR for this summary from the May, 2017 NSCW.