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Schumer says Army Corps is delaying FedEx deal at former Bethlehem Steel site

Ashley Hirtzel

Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete its wetlands review of the former Bethlehem Steel site in Hamburg. The review stands in the way of possibly bringing FedEx to the region.

The wetland review is the last remaining hurdle before construction can begin on the 129-acre parcel.

Schumer says FedEx is eager to build a major distribution center at the site once the Army Corps provides a clear delineation of where the wetlands are located.

“Until the Army Corps does what it’s supposed to do, any type of development remains at a standstill. The architects and engineers do not plan. The developer doesn’t build. FedEx does not commit. So, I’m here to use my influence to get the Army Corps to move,” said Schumer.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant.

Schumer says the Army Corps visited the site back in April and identified where the wetlands were located on the property, but have yet to deliver the final Jurisdictional Determination. The final documentation is needed before final agreements can be signed.

“I don’t know why this stuff is still caught in the bureaucracy. It should have taken a month. They actually came quickly as soon as the developer and the town said “hey here’s our report.” I don’t know what’s holding it up. I asked: “is there some big problem?” I didn’t get a “no I don’t think there is,” said Schumer.

Schumer says FedEx wants to locate to the Town of Hamburg, but the delay could be a deterrent. He says once the review is submitted, FedEx would break ground on the property as early as next month.