A $266 million project to remediate the Brookfield Avenue Landfill in Staten Island has broken ground. The project which will transform the contaminated site into a 132-acre park is being funded with $166 million in city funding and $100 million in funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Brookfield site was operated by the Department of Sanitation from 1966 to 1980 accepting 1,000 tons of solid waste per day. In the 1970s, the NYS DEC determined that liquid and hazardous wastes were illegally dumped at the landfill and in 1986, it was classified as a Class II Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site.

“For far too long, this neighborhood on Staten Island has been blighted by a fenced-off dump with a sordid history,” said Mayor Bloomberg who was joined by NYS DEC Commissioner Cas Holloway, Congressman Michael E. McMahon and Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro at the groundbreaking. “For more than 20 years, there have been a lot of empty promises and false starts, but I’m proud to say that we are getting this done.”

As part of the remediation and restoration work on the landfill, approximately 17,000 trees and shrubs will be planted as well as 76,000 wetland plantings, part of an effort to preserve and restore 7.3 acres of tidal wetlands and 8.8 acres of freshwater wetlands around the landfill. The project also includes the construction of a barrier wall around the perimeter of the landfill to restrict the flow of groundwater, the addition of soil in order to form the surface for a 40-mil liner and the installation of a drainage net to collect stormwater.

Upon completion, the NYS DEC will analyze the site to ensure that the project was successful and the location is safe. The fully remediated site will then be turned over to the Department of Parks and Recreation and opened to the public.

Brookfield Construction Associates is the contractor for the remediation work which is scheduled for completion in 2015. Tree and shrub plantings will be installed by 2017.