Air Force officials transfer more than 500 acres of former Plattsburgh AFB for redevelopment

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The Air Force Real Property Agency staff here July 17 signed a deed to transfer nearly 540 acres that was once home to Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York to the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation for economic reuse. 

The Finding of Suitability for Early Transfer for the land was approved by Environmental Protection Agency officials, with concurrence from New York Governor David Paterson. 

It was approved for "early transfer" because of strong professional partnerships among officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health, EPA Region 2, PARC and AFRPA. 

Prior to transferring the property, Air Force officials were responsible for ensuring the land was environmentally clean and safe for redevelopment. In the 1990s, hundreds of underground petroleum storage tanks were removed from the property and environmental work focused on treating the remaining groundwater and soil contamination. Because all remedial action necessary was taken to protect human health and the environment with respect to hazardous substances remaining on the property, the acreage was deemed suitable for early transfer. While the FOSET allows the early transfer of Plattsburgh AFB property, Air Force officials remain committed to managing their environmental work at the former base until completion.

"We have been working the environmental issues at Plattsburgh and making tremendous progress," said Dave Farnsworth, the AFRPA Bas Realignment and Closure environmental coordinator for Plattsburgh AFB. "The community has been pleased with the results and the Air Force will continue to be a presence in Plattsburgh until the environmental sites are closed out."

The property was transferred through an Economic Development Conveyance, a type of transaction used by the Department of Defense with the intent to expedite the reuse of closed military bases, creating new jobs and stimulating the economy of a BRAC-affected community. Since the closure of Plattsburgh AFB 14 years ago, PARC, the redevelopment authority responsible for the base's reuse, has now converted 2,642 acres of former Plattsburgh AFB land to businesses, nonprofit agencies, residential neighborhoods, community college facilities and an international airport.

The Air Force Real Property Agency is responsible for remediation and property transfer at 40 former Air Force installations throughout the U.S. under the BRAC program.