BASF opens new environmental education classroom and wildlife habitat in Rensselaer, New York
Project turns 100 year old manufacturing site into viable growth property and education center.
RENSSELAER , NY, September 21, 2011 – BASF today celebrated the opening of its environmental education classroom and wildlife habitat at the site of the company’s former manufacturing facility on Riverside Ave. in Rensselaer, New York, declaring the property ready for redevelopment. In addition, students in the Rensselaer City School District will have the opportunity to learn about local ecology and use the classroom to enhance their environmental studies.
“The completion of the new educational building and wildlife habitat represents an important milestone in the redevelopment of this property,” said Jim Bero, Senior Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety for BASF in North America. “We continue to work collaboratively with various members of the community and the state to enhance this property both environmentally and for future development.”
The 90-acre site along the Hudson River now has a 10 acre wildlife habitat and 40 acres of developable property available for redevelopment. The remaining 40 acres are leased to Empire Generating Company which operates a natural gas power plant on the property.
“The City of Rensselaer was extremely pleased when BASF decided to build an environmental education classroom on the former manufacturing site,” said Mayor Dan Dwyer. “Added to this is a thriving wildlife habitat. These ten acres are now restored and their use for education purposes shows what can be done to enhance the environmental education of the younger generation. Well done!”
To date, BASF has invested more than $20 million in the environmental investigation and cleanup of the property. This work – which included removal and/or capping of contaminated soil, installation of an on-site groundwater treatment system and installation of a groundwater containment system that prevents groundwater from moving off-site – has been completed by BASF through a cooperative relationship with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“Congratulations to BASF for creating a beautiful natural area and education center that serves as an extraordinary model for converting a former Brownfield into wonderful resource for the community,” said Joe Martens, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “Along with the new clean power generating plant, this project is also a great example of DEC’s commitment to partnering with businesses to find solutions that are a win for both the economy and the environment.”
The wildlife habitat is an ecologically enhanced area that promotes growth of indigenous plants to provide foraging and nesting areas for a wide variety of animals; a way-station for migratory birds; and a freshwater wetland area to provide a habitat for aquatic species, amphibians and reptiles. BASF has achieved Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning certifications from the Wildlife Habitat Council for this project.
The environmental education classroom is a new building that is a model for sustainable construction and has been registered with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) with the goal of obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification. The building consists of a dedicated classroom area, an exhibit space and office space for BASF employees.
The former manufacturing site produced dyestuffs beginning in the 1880s. BASF acquired the property in 1978 and manufactured dye related products until the facility was closed in 2000.
For more information on the construction of the building visit: http://construction.basf.us/index.php?page=commercial_featured_rensselaer
BASF – The Chemical Company.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,400 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.7 billion in 2010. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com or in the Social Media Newsroom at newsroom.basf.com.
Phone: (973) 245-6260
Jonathan M. Pierce, APR