British International Cables Corporation (BICC) Site
Project Name: British International Cables Corporation (BICC) Site
Project Location: Yonkers, New York (Westchester County)
Project Description: Yonkers, the fourth largest city in New York, has a 150-acre Brownfield Opportunity Area waterfront in an Environmental Zone running along the shoreline of the Hudson River. Yonkers has been attempting to redevelop the waterfront for over 16 years into a state-of-the art new green transit oriented development neighborhood. The BICC site is the largest of the sites totaling 14 acres of upland and 16 acres of underwater land. The remediation and redevelopment of the BICC Site is critical to the successful implementation of Yonkers’ development effort, and will be significant to New York’s tax base.
Site History: The BICC facility, in operation since 1886, manufactured high voltage cables until 1996. The property was expanded into the Hudson River using fill material from 1940 to 1976.
The Electric Research Power Institute (EPRI) Building, a 29,700 square feet building was constructed on the fill material and is the only remaining structure. The site contained 360,000 sq. ft. of warehouse and office structures, and open lots with commercial properties on all sides. On-site disposal of waste material, improper handling practices of products and chemicals and spillage are responsible for the PCB and metals contamination present at the site.
Current Stage of the Process: The BICC Site was a former Superfund site and the volunteer took advantage of the very short window of opportunity for Superfund sites to enter the BCP. The extensive PCB contamination throughout the upland portion of the Site, and in contaminated river sediment in the surrounding Site’s unobstructed shoreline was fully remediated by 2012. The Site’s volunteer has been actively participating in the BCP for the last 9 years and has invested more than $30 million in sediment cleanup costs alone. However, as a result of potential delayed approvals by state and federal agencies and a complicated cleanup under the EPRI building, the site may not be complete by the end 2015. Without the BCP tax credits, the Site is upside down and not developable, will remain an eyesore despite years of remediation, and will cause the entire Yonkers waterfront to remain an undeveloped brownfield area.
Approximate date of completion: In order to complete the program this calendar year, the Volunteer and remediation team needs to obtain all approvals in hand to commence remediation by March 15, 2015. Yet, the Department’s Fish and Wildlife Division has just raised questions regarding the capping remedy despite its knowledge that the Department’s Remediation Division approved this remedy in June 2014. In addition, EPA took nine months to provide its initial round of comments on the remedy and final approval has not been obtained.
Current number of employees on location: Many consulting firms and hundreds of employees have been used to remediate the site. Approximately 200 construction workers will be employed on the future construction project.
Approximate cost of construction: The proposed redevelopment project will include over 1,000 residential units and 45,000 commercial square feet.