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Hastings Waterfront Cleanup Moves Forward

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The long process of decontaminating the former industrial waterfront site in Hastings moved one step closer to completion with the beginning of a bioremediation process.

The process of cleaning the soil on the southern end of the property has begun by installing wells, power lines and other equipment, which will eventually pump oxygenated and fertilized water into the soil to encourage a bloom of bacteria that will break down hazardous waste in the soil, Mayor Peter Swiderski said in an email. Once the soil is deemed safe, it will be moved to a part of the property owned by Exxon to act as a cap for contaminated soil in that area, Swiderski said.

The Waterfront Infrastructure Committee, made up of volunteers, has been working on a preliminary plan detailing where parks, roads and utilities will be placed throughout the site once the cleanup is finished. Residents will get a chance to have their voices heard at a community forum Nov. 14, hosted by former Mayor Lee Kinnally. The location and time of the forum have not been finalized yet.

“The Waterfront Infrastructure Committee is going to present to the public what they’ve been talking about so far and get public’s input,” said Susan Maggiotto, deputy village manager and village clerk.

In addition to the bioremediation and community forum, Swiderski sent a letter to BP/Arco, the owner of the property, asking the company to seek estimates for the rehabilitation of the only remaining structure on the site, known as Building 52, Maggiotto said.

“There’s a big discussion in the community about what to do with it,” she said. “Some people would like to keep it as an artifact of the industrial history of Hastings, and others think it will be in the way.”

The letter asks BP/Arco to find the lowest cost estimate that still ensures work site safety and allows the building to be used once the cleanup is finished.

“Once we have this cost estimate, we can take the next steps to determine the fate of 52,” Swiderski said in the email. “If you’ve visited Dia Beacon or, for that matter, the Irvington waterfront, you know that former industrial buildings can have beautiful second lives. This site, however, is considerably more complicated than either of those and a variety of factors will have to weighed before the fate of the building can be determined.”

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