12.14.15

SCHUMER: HERKIMER’S CRUMBLING GLORY DAYS BUILDING HAS FINALLY BEEN DEMOLISHED, BUT VILLAGE LACKS RESOURCES TO REMOVE POTENTIALLY CONTAMINATED DEBRIS LEFT SITTING AT DEMO SITE, WHICH COULD POSE THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH – SCHUMER URGES FEDS TO IMMEDIATELY VISIT & INVESTIGATE TO DETERMINE IF SITE QUALFIIES FOR FEDERAL CLEAN-UP DOLLARS

After The Demolition Of Herkimer’s Old Glory Days Building, Village Has Followed Proper Procedures to Contain Site, But Removing Potentially Contaminated Rubble Is A Technical & Financial Challenge For Small Village

Schumer Urges Federal EPA To Visit Herkimer Demo Site And Investigate Whether It Could Be Added To Its Superfund Removal Cleanup List – Doing So Would Help Expeditiously Remove The Building Debris At No Cost To The Village

Schumer: Clearing Debris Will Finally Pave Way For Village To Revitalize Main Street & Reinvigorate Area

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to visit the old Glory Days building site in the Village of Herkimer to investigate whether it could qualify for the Superfund Removal Cleanup list. Schumer said the Glory Days building on Main Street was a historical structure that had been in a state of disrepair for a number of years, but when the roof began to collapse this past summer, officials were left with no other choice than to raze the building. As a small village, Herkimer has neither the technical equipment nor financial resources to properly remove the potentially contaminated rubble or properly fund the expeditious removal of debris and remediation of this site. Therefore, Schumer is pushing the EPA to visit the site and, if warranted, to add it to the Superfund cleanup list, which would allow the federal agency to remove the debris at no cost to the village.

“A village’s Main Street is its gathering point, its business center, and its beating heart. But the pile of rubble that now sits in the middle of Herkimer’s Main Street – left over from the demolition of the Glory Days building – is not only a hindrance to this area’s revitalization, but it could pose a potential public health and environmental threat. While the Village did everything it possibly could to contain the debris, it faces significant challenges in cleaning up the site. That is why I’m asking the EPA to step up to the plate and add this demo site to its Superfund Removal Cleanup list – which would expeditiously clean up the site and provide the federal funds for remediation,” said Schumer. “This pile of rubble should no longer be part of Herkimer’s future.”

Schumer said the Village has followed every precaution necessary to mitigate any potential threat. However the rapidness in which the building came down, Schumer said, necessitates the EPA’s attention. While the village is able to contain the site, it does not possess the technical equipment or financial resources needed to fully clean up the site. The village has therefore sought help in acquiring the funds and expertise to deal with this potential public health and environmental emergency.

Schumer is therefore urging the EPA to visit and if necessary, add the now-demolished former Glory Days building on Main Street to the EPA’s Superfund Removal Cleanup list. Schumer said that failing to dispose of this debris in a prompt fashion presents a potential public health and environmental threats, thus it is crucial the EPA devote all necessary resources to the immediate remediation of this site. Placing Glory Days on the Superfund Removal Cleanup list would allow for the federal government to remove the debris quickly without any cost to the Village of Herkimer, and in a manner that protects the environment and public health. Therefore, Schumer urged the EPA to add this site to its superfund list right away and expeditiously approve any federal resources and funds needed to properly clean up this site. Schumer said doing so would allow the village to remove the potential public health threat this site presents as well as move forward and use the site for other development efforts.

Schumer said that not only could this site present an environmental and public health hazards, but the pile of debris also continues to stall Main Street’s revitalization. The Village of Herkimer has worked for years to remove this building and revitalize the area. However, it has been unable to do so even following the emergency demolition due to lack of resources. During Schumer’s visit to Herkimer last year, Schumer joined new Village of Herkimer Mayor Tony Brindisi to devise a plan to secure federal funds that would allow the village to focus on Main Street revitalization. Schumer explained that the new mayor has prioritized redeveloping Main Street, but significant federal funds would likely be needed to make redevelopment projects a reality. The first step, Schumer said, was paving the way to development by cleaning up this site once and for all.

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

Dear Administrator McCarthy:

I write to urge the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) to add the now-demolished former Glory Days building on Main Street in Herkimer, New York to the Superfund Removal Cleanup list. To accomplish this I urge the EPA to send staff to visit the former Glory Days building as soon as possible in order to examine the potential asbestos contamination from the site. 

The Village of Herkimer has done a superb job dealing with the demolition and containment of this site, however removing the contaminated debris is a technical and financial challenge for this small village that the EPA, via its removal clean-up program, is better suited to accomplish. Not to dispose of this debris in a prompt fashion presents an environmental and potential public health threat, thus it is crucial that EPA devotes all necessary resources immediately to remedy this situation. 

The Glory Days Building on Main Street in Herkimer was a historical structure that has been in a state of disrepair for a number of years. The building has held back Main Street’s revitalization and posed a threat to the community’s well-being for some time now.  The roof of the Glory Day’s building began to collapse this past summer, leaving officials with no other choice than to raze the building.

While the Village has followed every single precaution in mitigating this threat, the rapidness in which the building came down leads me to conclude this site needs the EPA’s attention.  Placing Glory Days on the Superfund Removal Cleanup list would allow for the federal government to remove the debris quickly without any cost to the Village of Herkimer, and in a manner that protects the environment and public health.

Thank you for your attention to this important request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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