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PR- 143-10
April 5, 2010


Project Will Transform Contaminated Site into a 132-Acre Park

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway, Congressman Michael E. McMahon and Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro today broke ground on a project to remediate the Brookfield Avenue Landfill in Staten Island. The Brookfield Avenue Landfill is a former municipal solid waste disposal site, where toxic materials were illegally dumped in the 1970s. The project will cover the 132-acre solid waste disposal portion of the site with 2 million tons of soil and an impermeable landfill cap and turn the site into parkland. The remaining acres, a mixture of undisturbed land, forest, wetlands and streams, will require no remediation. The remediation work will be completed in 2015 and tree and shrub plantings will be installed by 2017. The $266 million project is funded with $166 million of City funding and $100 million in funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Mayor also was joined at the ground breaking by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Suzanne Mattei, State Senator Andrew J. Lanza, Assemblyman Lou Tobacco, and City Council Members James S. Oddo and Vincent M. Ignizio.

"For far too long, this neighborhood on Staten Island has been blighted by a fenced-off dump with a sordid history," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today, we take a giant step forward in writing a new, greener chapter, by beginning the process of turning this site into a new park for the community to enjoy. The community has waited a long time for someone to do something about Brookfield. For more than 20 years, there have been a lot of empty promises and false starts, but I'm proud to say that we are getting done."

"Staten Islanders deserve, and will finally get a fully restored Brookfield site that is open to the public," said Commissioner Holloway. "After years of effort, we are finally on our way to turning this former landfill into a place that everyone can come to enjoy. When the remediation work is finished, what once was an illegal dumping ground will be restored to its native landscape, and 132 acres of public open space will be available for generations of New Yorkers to enjoy. I'd like to thank Commissioner Grannis and his team at DEC, as well as the other City and State agencies who have partnered with us to make this project happen."

"DEC is very pleased to join Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Holloway in moving this important project forward," said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis. "There still is a lot of work needed, but today is a positive step and I thank the cooperation of all our partners in helping to get this landfill cleanup project underway."

"I am thrilled to stand here today with Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Holloway, and my colleagues in government celebrating the remediation of the Brookfield Landfill," said Congressman McMahon. "After many years of debate and frustration, we stand here today celebrating a project that is long overdue for the residents of Staten Island. I commend the Mayor, the Department of Environmental Protection, and my colleagues for finally bringing this project to fruition. The end result will be a park that enhances the quality of life for the residents of this great borough."

"After 20 years, thanks to the efforts of Mayor Bloomberg, we are finally getting this toxic waste site cleaned up," said Borough President Molinaro. "The people of Staten Island are indebted to Mayor Bloomberg for his commitment and his follow-through on this issue. It is indeed a great day for Staten Island."

"This moment has been a long time coming, but today government lives up to its responsibility to do all it can to protect Staten Islanders and give them as good a quality of life as possible," said City Council Member Oddo.

The Brookfield site was operated by the Department of Sanitation from 1966 to 1980. During that time, the site operated 24-hours per day, six days a week, and accepted approximately 1,000 tons of solid waste per day.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation determined that liquid and hazardous industrial wastes were illegally dumped at the landfill in the 1970s and, in 1986, classified the landfill as a Class II Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site.

The remediation and restoration work on the landfill will proceed as follows:

  • An impenetrable barrier wall made of bentonite and soil mix will be constructed around the perimeter of the landfill to restrict the flow of groundwater in and out of the landfill.

  • The site's approximately 132 acres that were contaminated will be graded with a minimum 12-inch layer of soil. Soil currently is in place on top of the waste, but additional soil is required to allow the landfill to be graded in order to form the surface for the liner.

  • A 40-mil geomembrane liner - about the thickness of 10 heavy duty garbage bags - will be installed on top of the new layer of soil. The liner arrives on site in rolls up to 22 feet and is rolled out onto the top of the landfill. The seams between each roll are heat-welded together to form one contiguous liner.

  • A drainage net will be installed on top of the liner to collect stormwater. The drainage net then transmits the stormwater to a network of drains and chutes, which will convey the water off of the landfill cap.

  • A 12-inch barrier protection layer of soil will be installed to provide drainage and protect the liner.

  • Topsoil, ranging from 6 inches to 36 inches, will be added. The topsoil used is designed specifically to support the grass and plant communities chosen for the site.

  • Leachate (liquid that has percolated through solid waste) and gas collection and treatment systems will be constructed.

  • Approximately 17,000 trees and shrubs, all indigenous to this region will be planted. Approximately 76,000 wetland plantings will also be installed to as part of an effort to preserve and restore 7.3 acres of tidal wetlands and 8.8 acres of freshwater wetlands acres around the landfill.

The fully remediated site will be turned over to the Department of Parks and Recreation and opened to the public once the State Department of Environmental Conservation completes an analysis of the site to ensure the remediation was successful and location is safe for public use.

The Department of Environmental Protection has developed an environmental health and safety plan to protect the health of the construction workers and the public during the project. On-site air quality will be measured throughout the day and air quality around the perimeter of the site will be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If a perimeter monitor detects an air quality problem, nearby off-site air quality monitors will immediately be activated to ensure there are no health hazards. A stormwater pollution prevention plan will ensure that soil disturbed during construction does not migrate outside the construction work zone, and a pest management will prevent rodents from emerging out of the landfill site.

The contractor for the remediation work is Brookfield Construction Associates.

The Department of Environmental Protection holds monthly meetings with the Brookfield Landfill Citizens Advisory Committee, a board of volunteers that works closely with the department on oversight for the remediation of the Brookfield Landfill. The committee is comprised of representatives designated by Community Board 3 and from the offices of Congressman McMahon, the Staten Island Borough President, the New York State Assembly and State Senate, and the City Council.


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (Mayor)   (212) 788-2958

Farrell Sklerov/Michael Saucier   (NYC DEP)
(718) 595-6600

Maureen Wren (NYS DEC)   (518) 402-8000

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