03.29.16

SCHUMER: FED WETLAND REVIEW IS STANDING IN THE WAY OF AMY’S KITCHEN AND NEARLY 1,000 NEW JOBS; SCHUMER PUSHES ARMY CORP TO EXPEDITE REVIEW THAT COULD UNLOCK OPPORTUNITY FOR ORANGE COUNTY

Schumer Urges Army Corps To Issue Review Proposal So Project Can Move Forward In Orange County So Amy’s Kitchen Can Turn Vacant Property in Orange County Into A Major Distribution Center 

Before Construction Can Begin, U.S. Army Corps Must Issue Wetlands Permit for Site Development At Goshen Property To Create The State of The Art Facility; Schumer Vows To Support Amy’s Kitchen Development & Add New Jobs 

Schumer: Federal Wetlands Review Is Important Remaining Ingredient For Amy’s Kitchen To Start Cooking In Orange County

Standing at Amy’s Kitchen in Goshen, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today pushed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to expedite a key review of wetlands for the Goshen, NY site where Amy’s Kitchen intends to build its new $95 million, 369,000-square foot meal-manufacturing plant. Schumer explained that Amy’s Kitchen plans to turn the formerly vacant property into a major distribution center through this significant investment, which is expected to create 700 good-paying, local jobs with the potential to expand to nearly 1,000 jobs However, Schumer said that this wetlands review is an important hurdle that must be overcome before construction can begin, and will help keep the project moving towards the important construction phase, and signaling to locals that the development meets the strict standards of the federal government. Schumer said that, with this wetlands review determination in hand, Amy’s Kitchen will be one step closer to beginning construction and keeping this critical, job-creating project on track.

“The development of this formerly vacant site in Goshen holds massive, job-creating potential, and this federal wetlands review is a critical hurdle both Amy’s Kitchen and Orange County must clear in order to begin this re-development effort,” said Schumer. “This review will make it clear where the wetlands are located on the property, so that the town and the developer can build around them, and the construction phase can begin. The Army Corps must not wait any longer to provide the results of this review; it is mission critical to this effort, and we must complete it ASAP. There are too many potential new jobs at stake for bureaucracy to stand in the way and delay the target construction timeline.”

Amy’s Kitchen is a California-based, family-owned organic and natural food distribution company that sells its products to many large national retail chains, including ShopRite, Price Chopper and Wal-Mart. In 2014, the company announced it would be building a $95 million, 369,000-sq. foot development in Goshen, NY. The formerly vacant site that Amy’s is expected to occupy is located between 100 Echo Lake Road and Route 17M – a 200-acre parcel of land that Schumer said is ripe for development. According to company officials, the new distribution facility is expected to employ roughly 700 local residents in Orange County.

However, Schumer explained that the parcel of land Amy’s Kitchen hopes to develop contains wetlands that it must build around. Therefore, in order for the project to move along – and before any construction can get underway – the USACE must issue a review of the property detailing exactly where those wetlands are located. Amy’s Kitchen and the Orange County Partnership have both said final approvals and the construction phase – slated to begin this coming fall – will more easily progress once this Jurisdictional Determination from the USACE is in hand.

To date, the Amy’s Kitchen site development project has cleared several key hurdles, gaining support from local governments, Orange County and New York State. With all layers of government on board, and fully supportive of this project, it is time the federal government makes clear its support and approval of this important project. The company hopes to begin construction on the plant this fall, and to have the facility up and running by 2018. But until Goshen officials receive this wetlands review determination, development will not be able to progress. Schumer therefore said it is critical that this wetland delineation review be completed, and the official Jurisdictional Determination made, in order to keep this project on track.

Schumer is urging the USACE to issue this Jurisdictional Determination as soon as possible, so Amy’s Kitchen can clear this hurdle and any additional agreements can be signed. Schumer said this federal review could help solidify Amy’s construction timeline, which will mean it can begin creating the estimated 700 plus new jobs in Orange County. Therefore, Schumer said with these kinds of jobs numbers and economic development opportunities on the line, and hinging on the wetlands review, it is critical the USACE expedite its determination.

Schumer was joined by Orange County Government officials, economic development officials and local elected officials.

Schumer has long supported the company’s proposal to move its distribution operations from out-of-state to the Hudson Valley, construct a state-of-the-art meal-manufacturing facility and create hundreds of jobs in Orange County. In December 2015, Schumer met with Andy and Rachel Berliner, co-founders and owners of Amy’s Kitchen, to discuss ways to help the company create jobs and prosper in the Hudson Valley. During their meeting, Schumer vowed to fight tooth and nail to help the company grow jobs and succeed in New York.

Schumer said further that there is a strong potential for Amy’s to have a large economic impact on local Hudson Valley farms and the regional agricultural industry. This, he explained, is because Amy’s has historically relied on local communities and small businesses to provide ingredients for their distribution centers and product lines. Schumer explained that two-thirds of the ingredients used in Amy’s Kitchen products currently come from California and Oregon – because that is where Amy’s is currently located. Schumer said the development of this new facility in Goshen could mean increased opportunities for Orange County businesses and farms to provide ingredients for Amy’s products, as most of its sales are in the Eastern half of the U.S. Its product lines include frozen entrees, burritos, soups, cookies and candy. 

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the USACE appears below:

Dear Assistant Secretary Darcy and Commander Caldwell:

I write to urge you to expedite the wetlands review and to provide an official Jurisdictional Determination for the Goshen, New York site where Amy’s Kitchen intends to build a meal-manufacturing plant. The company plans to turn the vacant property in Orange County into a major distribution center that would employ hundreds of local residents, but before construction can begin, the Army Corps of Engineers must complete the wetland delineation review and provide an official Jurisdictional Determination for the site.

Amy’s Kitchen is a California-based, family-owned organic and natural food distribution company that sells its products to many large national retail chains, including ShopRite, Price Chopper and Wal-Mart. In 2014, the company announced it would build a $95 million, 369,000 square foot development in Goshen, which is estimated to employ nearly 700 local residents in Orange County. The Amy’s Kitchen facility is expected to occupy 200 acres between 100 Echo Lake Road and Route 17M.

The Amy’s Kitchen site development project has cleared several key hurdles, including support from local governments, Orange County and New York State. The company hopes to begin construction on the plant this fall, and to have the facility up and running by 2018. It is critical that this wetland delineation review be completed, and the official Jurisdictional Determination made, in order to keep this project on track. As you know, this documentation is needed before construction work can begin. 

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter. Should you have any questions or need further information please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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