P.L.E.X. Neighborhood Association

Thank you for standing with PLEX Neighborhood Association in our fight to get the Vacuum Oil Brownfield cleaned up right.

We need everyone's help ensure our vision of a safe place to watch our children and grandchildren grow, play, and thrive become a reality.

This Brownfield sits right on the Genesee River in Rochester, which flows directly into Lake Ontario. In the event of a flood, toxic contamination would be spread. We are outraged to learn that the developer DHD Ventures, along with ExxonMobil, have proposed to do the least expensive, lowest level of cleanup available. They want to cap it all with concrete and try to keep the toxic oils permanently below the surface. This will make it so that the site can only be used for certain conditions, like market-rate housing and coffee shops for University of Rochester students.

PLEX Neighborhood strongly recommends that a Tier One cleanup of the Vacuum Oil Brownfield be performed. This will allow for the unconditional use of the lot, and ensure opportunities to design projects that are aligned with the goals of the community.

PLEX Neighborhood has suffered through long-term health and financial impacts caused by ExxonMobil’s disruptive negligence. Now that there is finally something to be done, the City, the Developers, and the well paid professional planners are ignoring our very clear and reasonable goals.

PLEX Neighborhood’s most important community goals are:

1) Tier 1 Cleanup - Cleanup this brownfield all the way. There is no reason to rush this work. Do the best job possible. We are open to bioremediation practices in the less impacted areas.

2) Health Impact Analysis - There is no definitive long-term analysis of the impact to community health caused by this site. We must ensure that the people whose health has been harmed by this contamination are accounted for and that the impact of this trauma is recognized and remunerated.

3) Neighborhood Stabilization - The VOBOA Plan has lead to rapid destabilization of our community. Our community needs to work overtime to keep long-term homeowners from being pressured to get out from under their homes by speculative developers who are going to make massive profits buying low and selling high.

4) Corporate Accountability - The long-term disruption caused by Vacuum Oil site and its long time owner ExxonMobil Corp. has injured the PLEX Neighborhood in many ways since its inception back in 1866. Remuneration is in order.

5) Neighborhood Maintenance Squads - We can create jobs for our young people, as well as ongoing workforce training programs. These teams can help older homeowners fix porches and gutters. Community works projects like these will create opportunities for youth & community homeowners alike while sharpening our skills.

6) P.L.E.X. Park - In this brownfield opportunity area, there is much-needed space for children to play where they can be easily watched by their parents and grandparents. The proposed park needs to be prioritized adequately planned for as a critical community revitalization projects.

7) A Hardware Store - Many of our homes are in critical need of repair, but the nearest place to get critical hardware supplies is a 15-minute drive.

8) A Supermarket - Our neighborhood is a food desert, an area defined by a critical need for affordable healthy food. Studies show a large grocery store specializing in affordable food would do well here and is very much needed.

9) History of Place - We need to ensure that the with all these changes are made to our community, that the history of the Vacuum Oil facility and its impact on our environment is not forgotten. We must design a history of place that recounts the incredible impacts Vacuum Oil and ExxonMobil have had on our community and society in general.

10) Ongoing Community Engagement - Our Community and the City must ensure all parties involved with this VOBOA Plan implementation continually reach out to the PLEX Neighborhood Association. This will assure our needs are considered and that the safest most, environmentally protective cleanup prescriptions are being implemented.

11) Nature Preserve - In a city with such a vibrant history of urban ecology, a nature preserve would act as a landmark of sustainability, as well as an effective floodplain for river overflow. It is a powerful symbol to see nature reclaiming what has been damaged by human negligence. A place where wildlife can thrive will serve as a clear symbol progress.

12) Raised Retaining Wall - With coming concerns of climate change as well as the historic flooding of the Genesee River, the community is concerned with the proposed plan to lower the flood wall.

Please use the form below to submit a comment to:
Office of City Planning
Dorraine Kirkmire

You can include goals named by the community in your comment.
Thank you!