FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2013
Christopher Gilbride / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600
Department of Environmental Protection Announces Plans to Convert 1.2 Acres in Hunts Points Area of Bronx to Recreational Space
Site will be Turned Over to Parks Department for Community Use
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland today announced plans to convert a 1.2 acre parcel of land in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx into recreational space. The land was previously used as a staging area for construction equipment and temporary office space during the recently completed upgrades to the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. It is situated adjacent to the 11 acre Barretto Point Park, land that was originally converted by DEP in 2001, and the Upper East River. A four to six month environmental remediation of the parcel will take place before it is transferred to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The environmental remediation is being funded through the New York State Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act of 1996 and is part of an agreement the City reached with Mothers on the Move, a Hunts Point Community Organization.
“Our recently completed upgrades to the Hunts Point Plant, along with the new litter control devices along the Bronx River, will help improve the ecological health and cleanliness of the Upper East River,” said DEP Commissioner Strickland. “As we continue to look for opportunities to expand fishing, boating, and other recreational uses of our waterways, this newly converted land will provide residents with an important open space and an additional access point to the East River.”
“We look forward to accepting this new space in Hunts Point after the environmental remediation now being done by DEP is completed,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “New Yorkers win every time we add recreational space to our city, and we welcome this addition to Hunts Point on behalf of all the New Yorkers who will use it – families, friends, visitors.”
“Converting the 1.2 acre parcel of land in Hunts Point is a smart reuse of natural resources,” said NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. “Creating additional park space for families to enjoy the outdoors is aligned with Governor Cuomo’s initiative to improve outdoor recreational activities throughout the state.”
"We look forward to working with the City and Mothers on the Move to ensure this park meets the needs of the Hunts Point community," said Al Huang, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Now that NYOFCO is closed and our community is odor free, we're excited to work with the City to add recreational space to our beautiful waterfront in Hunts Point," said Wanda Salaman, Executive Director, Mothers on the Move.
"The Hunts Point Community has been anxiously awaiting the conversion of the 1.2 acre parcel into recreational space and the remediation of the site is an important first step and a great victory for the community. I am deeply committed to securing capital funding to further the Barretto Point Park development and look forward to engaging the community in the scoping and design of the new open space. Congratulation to all,’ said Council Woman Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
As part of an Environmental Impact Statement, a review of the parcel determined that there were no hazardous materials present but did recommend that a new layer of soil be laid over the site. Under the City’s supervision, a contractor will add 18 inches of clean fill and six inches of topsoil over the entire parcel. Grass seed will be spread and 50 shrubs will be planted before it is turned over to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
DEP recently completed a $280 million upgrade to the Hunts Point Plant’s electrical substation, generators, aeration, and sludge pumping systems that has reduced nitrogen discharges from the Plant into the East River and Long Island Sound by approximately 45 percent. Along with improving the ecological health of the Upper East River, this investment will ensure that the plant remains in a state of good repair for decades to come. In addition, DEP installed four underground litter control devices at a cost of $26 million along the Bronx River. Using nylon netting and hydraulic bar screens the devices have already prevented over 10 tons of litter from entering the River.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14.4 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.