Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The United States Air Force has committed $1.2 million for an environmental assessment of the flood-damaged town of Union site that had housed BAE Systems.

Senator Charles Schumer visited the Westover property this morning. He urged the Air Force to make demolition of the building a priority.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Schumer said he'll work to have the $17.3 million needed to complete the project included in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

The environmental study may take about six months to complete.

Millions of gallons of water poured into the building in September 2011, forcing BAE Systems to abandon the site. The company moved its local operations to the former IBM Endicott complex.

Schumer said the vacant Air Force plant is eroding property values in the neighborhood while posing an environmental hazard.

The planned environmental study will determine potential hazards on the site that will have to be addressed during the demolition process.

According to Schumer, the Broome County Industrial Development Agency pays about $14,000 a month to maintain and secure the property.

Broome County security officers are assigned to the site to keep an eye on the building and prevent people from trespassing on the property.

Town of Union officials have been exploring possible future uses for the site.

The redevelopment process has been hampered because there's no timeline as to when the 27-acre site will be cleared.