FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2014
Schumer, Tonko Praise Funding for Scotia Navy Depot in President’s Budget – Call For Senate & House to Fulfill Critical Funding Request
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko today praised the inclusion of critical federal funds in President Obama’s budget proposal for 2015, aimed at cleaning up the former Scotia Navy Depot in Glenville, New York. Both federal officials vowed to work with their colleagues in the Senate and House to fulfill this funding request as each chamber crafts their own budget plan. A total of $15,780,000 was requested in the President’s proposal.
“Cleaning up the Scotia Navy Depot in Glenville would be a huge boost to the community, to the environment, and the local economy, and I will fight to realize this budget request in the Senate appropriations process. Lingering environmental cleanup issues from this decades-old mess seriously threaten the Great Flats aquifer, which is the source of most Schenectady County residents’ drinking water, and also hinder the ability to redevelop the Scotia Depot. I will work hand-in-glove with my partner, Paul Tonko, to accelerate this cleanup,” said Senator Schumer.
“This long overdue funding is critical to our efforts to boost economic development in Schenectady County, and I will fight to ensure that the House invests in this important cleanup effort,” said Congressman Tonko. “Local, state and federal officials have long shared a goal of redeveloping this site for expanded economic development opportunities and make it an attractive location for businesses to hire and expand locally. I applaud the President for his recognition of this urgent need as well as Senator Schumer his tireless efforts to fight for our communities in the Capital Region.”
The Scotia Naval Depot was built in 1942 as a storage and supply location for naval forces along the Atlantic coast and Europe. In March 2010, at the urging of local and federal officials, the General Services Administration (GSA) acknowledged lingering environmental issues at the site that were preventing the marketability and redevelopment of the site.
In October 2011, the GSA agreed to a cleanup proposal from NYS DEC, which involves constructing a barrier to contain and clean up contaminants present in the groundwater located at the site. Under terms of the agreement, the federal government is responsible for cleaning up the environmental issues caused when the depot was in operation. Most Navy functions at the site ended after the Vietnam War.
Tony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislaturesaid, “Schenectady County can always count on Senator Schumer and Congressman Tonko. Both have pushed hard to get the GSA to clean up the former Scotia Navy Depot because it’s the right thing for the federal government to do and because this federal funding will protect our water supply which is one of Schenectady County’s greatest assets. This cleanup will also be a major boost to our efforts to bring jobs and investment to the Glenville Business and Technology Park.”
Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority said, “We are so grateful to Senator Schumer and Congressman Tonko for their tireless efforts to clean up the former Scotia Navy Depot. This funding is critical to both our environment and our economy.”
Chris Koetzle, Glenville Town Supervisor said, “I want to thank Senator Schumer and Congressman Tonko for their leadership in helping to get this project funded. This cleanup will help us continue the county and town’s efforts to revitalize our technology park and will help ensure that we can continue its redevelopment. For years, this redevelopment has been a priority of the town and a crucial part of our economic development plan. I am glad that it’s finally moving forward.”
The President’s budget is a funding blueprint for the next fiscal year which begins October 1, 2014. The Senate and House of Representatives must craft their own plans and reconcile the two into one budget before sending it to President Obama to be signed into law.