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  • 31 Mar 2022 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, the Environmental Protection Agency published its final Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2026 EPA Strategic Plan to accompany EPA's FY 2023 President’s Budget. The Strategic Plan provides a roadmap to achieve EPA’s and the Biden-Harris Administration’s environmental priorities over the next four years.

    This Strategic Plan furthers the agency's commitment to protecting human health and the environment for all people, with an emphasis on historically overburdened and underserved communities. For the first time, EPA’s final Plan includes a strategic goal focused exclusively on addressing climate change, as well as an unprecedented strategic goal to advance environmental justice and civil rights. At the foundation of the Plan is a renewed commitment to the three principles articulated by EPA’s first Administrator, William Ruckelshaus — follow the science, follow the law, and be transparent – while adding an additional fourth principle: advance justice and equity.

    “This final strategic plan is the result of tireless work across EPA to develop a comprehensive strategy that delivers on our mission to protect all people from pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I’m confident that our plan meets the moment. Our solutions are designed to confront the challenges in front of us, where achieving justice and equity are central to addressing climate change and environmental protection.” 

    The Strategic Plan outlines seven goals and four cross-agency strategies. The strategies articulate essential ways of working to accomplish EPA’s goals and mission outcomes. The Plan also includes a suite of measures that will help the Agency monitor progress and ensure accountability for achieving its priorities to protect human health and the environment for all Americans.

    More information on EPA’s Strategic Plans can be found at: Strategic Plan

  • 31 Mar 2022 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Letter to Governor Governor Hochul, Speaker Heastie, and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins from The Building & Realty Institute of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region, Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast, The Business Council of Westchester, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Local Development Corporation of East New York, Long Island Builders Institute, The New York Building Congress, New York City Brownfield Partnership, New York League of Conservation Voters, Real Estate Board of New York, SoBro, Center for Creative Land Recycling, USGBC Long Island, New York State Association for Affordable Housing, Sullivan County Partnership, Upstate United.

    We want to thank you for your commitment to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program (BOA) and urge the reauthorization of the BCP and additional improvements to these programs in the FY ’23 budget that you are in the process of finalizing.  

    The BCP is working in New York. Since its inception, over 502 projects have been completed statewide, with 50% of the projects in economically distressed En-Zones and many in Environmental Justice and Brownfield Opportunity Areas. The program has created over 6,000 affordable housing units and $17.61 billion in private investments, cleaned up contaminated sites which may not otherwise have been remediated, and is increasing public health benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate and air quality, which furthers environmental justice goals to promote healthier communities.

    Read more...

  • 28 Mar 2022 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From NYCBP Member, By Larry Schnapf

    In our prior blog, we announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) would publish a proposed rule and direct final rule proposing to amend and amending the All Appropriate Inquiries rule (“AAI”)  to reference the revised ASTM E1527-21 ‘‘Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process’’ (“E1527-21”) and allowing it to be used to satisfy the AAI requirements.

    Read more...

    Posted March 28, 2022

  • 28 Mar 2022 1:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The article was published in The Practical Real Estate Lawyer with an acknowledgement to Chemmie Sokolic (The Falcon Real Estate Group) for his assistance on the industry issues.

    According to Schnapf, "In mid-November, ASTM International (ASTM) published the updated version of its “Standard Practice for Environmental Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” (E1527-21). The new standard replaces the 2013 version (E1527-13), which ASTM now considers a “historical standard.” However, E1527-13 may continue to be used until EPA formally recognizes the latest version." Click here to read the article in its entirety.

    Posted March 28, 2022

  • 18 Mar 2022 3:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Kirstyn Brendlen, Brooklyn Paper (NY)

    Cleanup is moving along at the former NuHart Plastic Manufacturing plant in Greenpoint as a developer prepares to build two mixed-use buildings on the heavily contaminated lot.

    The western half of the 1-acre site, located between Dupont, Franklin, and Clay streets, was named to the state Superfund list in 2010 after potentially-hazardous chemicals were discovered in the soil, left over from nearly 50 years of plastic and vinyl production at the NuHart factory, which closed in 2004. Last year, Madison Realty Capital started taking ownership of the plot after its old owner filed for bankruptcy protection. Taking over NuHart West also means taking responsibility for the Superfund activities deemed necessary by the state, and Madison also applied for and began a Brownfield cleanup of NuHart East.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.brooklynpaper.com/cleanup-nuhart-plastics-ahead-new-construction/

    Posted March 18, 2022

  • 18 Mar 2022 2:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Article entitled, “Restoring Nature While Building” by Patrick Sisson appeared in the Square Feet column on in the Commercial Real Estate page of the March 16, 2022 New York Times.

    This caught our eye: “People don’t have to use the word ‘sustainability” anymore because it’s expected, said Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of the Cultural Landscapes Foundation, and education and advocacy group.  “People expect a level of performance from their landscapes. There is a power of place there waiting to be unlocked.”

    This information appealed to us because we have been looking for data on the positive financial impacts of green space on developments.   “A series of trends have made these projects more valuable, said Matt Norris, director of the Building Healthy Places Initiative at the Urban Land Institute.  For residents, the health benefits of outdoor access are more apparent, especially in the pandemic.  For developers, offices and homes next to parks can accrue up to 20 percent more value, and added green space can help projects earn community support and even unlock zoning incentives.”

    Posted March 18, 2022

  • 16 Mar 2022 1:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Well over 50 people attended the March 15, 2022, NYC Brownfield Partnership Redevelopment Roundtable.  As one attendee wrote us “We're in a critical moment on a variety of fronts right now.”

    If you missed the Roundtable, here is what is critical:

    1. Extension of NYS’s Brownfield Cleanup Act and the tax credit extender Included in Governor Hochul’s FY 2023 Executive Budget and currently being negotiated with both legislative houses.  Includes  options for length of extension (5 vs. 10 years), whether and how much of a fee will be included; 
    2. Part 375 Regulations:  comments due in April, 2022.  The NYCBP committee is actively working to complete comments, which will be shared with other members of the BCP Coalition.  There is a direct impact on affordable housing.
    3. USEPA has released a pre-publication copy of its proposed and direct final rule to recognize ASTM E1527-21 as a method for complying with its All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule.  The NYCBP will be commenting on the need to focus on use of one method and not multiples.

    The Partnership’s comments on regulations and the AAI pre-publication will be posted on the website for members to review.

    Attendees received a presentation on the new Soil Cleanup Objectives.   USEPA Region 2 gave an update regarding the positive impacts of federal infrastructure funding. OER provided information of Mayor Adams’ office organization and OER’s place in the organization, an update on the soil stockpile, and a report that city agencies are streamlining their processes to meet the April, 2022 deadline for 421a applications.  The Partnership was pleased that at least four M/WBE firms attended today’s Roundtable.

    Big thank you to the event sponsors for the Spring 2022 Roundtable:  Athenica Environmental Services; Knauf Shaw; vEKtor consultants; Bousquet Holstein; Hydrotech Environmental Engineering; and Liberty Environmental Inc. The two newest annual sponsors of the Partnership, Capitol Environmental Services, Inc. and Tenen Environmental had the opportunity to introduce themselves to all attendees.

  • 10 Mar 2022 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Bill Wilkins, New York Daily News

    Thirty-two years ago, my wife and I made the decision to buy a home and raise our family in East New York — a community where she grew up, at the time considered a low-income area with not much hope of economic revival or prosperity. Since then, we have raised three great kids, two of whom have earned graduate degrees from top universities. And as the director of economic development and housing for the local development corporation serving the area’s industrial base, I’ve seen how a thriving local economy can lift nearby families and move a community from poverty to prosperity — but only after the remnants of past pollution have been removed from the area.

    Read more...

    March 10, 2022

  • 4 Mar 2022 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by John Kickey, The Buffalo News

    New York State needs to renew its brownfield cleanup program, an environmental reclamation effort that has prepared the ground for millions of dollars’ worth of development in Western New York and across the state. What is not needed is an onerous application fee.

    Gov. Kathy Hochul smartly included a 10-year extension of the brownfield program in her proposed budget, but the language includes a proposed $50,000 application fee. The existing law imposes no such expense.

    Read more...

  • 15 Feb 2022 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Upon Reauthorization and Renewal, These Two Programs will Continue to Address Environmental Justice, Economic Development, and Affordable Housing in Communities Across the State

    A statewide coalition representing environmental advocates, environmental justice organizations, economic development organizations, and business groups released a statement in support of Governor Hochul’s inclusion of the Brownfields Cleanup Program and the Brownfields Opportunity Area program in her proposed budget. The coalition applauds Governor Hochul for making a long-term commitment to this program by proposing an extension of the program for 10 years. Additionally, the reforms that are included to provide additional resources to projects in disadvantaged communities and encourage renewable energy development on brownfield sites goes a long way to address environmental justice issues, combatting neighborhood blight, and providing thousands of homes statewide for New Yorkers who need it the most.

    Since reauthorization of the Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP) in 2015, over 400 sites have participated in every county of the state. The program has generated more than $17 billion in economic development and created more than 6,000 units of affordable housing. With this longterm extension of the program, more New Yorkers will benefit from much-needed housing in disadvantaged communities. The proposed language will build upon the 2015 reforms of the BCP and provide further transparency. The BCP does more than clean up pollution—this program goes a long way to address the environmental justice issues in disadvantaged communities.

    Additionally, strengthening the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program will bring added benefits to the designated BOAs in disadvantaged and urban communities, while a new focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing environmental justice in BOAs will help New York achieve the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

    "The New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program not only promotes the cleanup of contaminated and underutilized properties throughout the State but also generates much-needed job opportunities for local communities during and after redevelopment. The proposed extension of tax credit incentives will continue to encourage developers to invest in brownfield sites and elevate economic development in New York. The Partnership’s members are appreciative of the Program’s proposed extension and look forward to their enactment," said Ezgi Karayel, President of the NYC Brownfield Partnership.

    “The success of the New York State BCP is a model for all the states in the northeastern United States. Its impact on producing environmentally protective, high quality redevelopment projects in environmental justice areas is impressive as is the increase in creation of more affordable housing and industrial projects on formerly contaminated properties throughout New York State, said Rick Shoyer, President of the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast. “The fact that New York State’s tax credits are at a sustainable level and are more supportive of the costs of high-quality cleanups and less on development costs is a model for other states in our region."

    “We would like to thank Governor Hochul for her leadership on the vital issue of brownfield remediation,” said Jolie Milstein, President and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “The Brownfields Cleanup Program is a critical tool for building affordable housing in historically disadvantaged communities, and our members enthusiastically support its 10-year extension. We look forward to engaging with the State on the details of the program and the accompanying regulations.”

    "The coalition was pleased to see the Governor’s commitment to these programs and believe the language is an important first step in enhancing these critical programs. We are concerned that certain aspects of the proposal and the accompanying regulations will prevent some projects from moving forward and therefore look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to address these concerns," said Patrick McClellan of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

    The coalition again applauds Governor Hochul’s leadership as her administration continues to lead our state’s economy forward and help New York communities sustainably recover. Reauthorization and reform of the Brownfields Cleanup Program and strengthening the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program is the path forward for everyone working to achieve environmental justice, expand affordable housing, and invest in New York’s renewal.

    The coalition looks forward to working with Governor Hochul and the leaders in the New York State Assembly and Senate to enact these proposals that will benefit all New Yorkers.

    Real Estate Board of New York

    New York League of Conservation Voters

    New York State Association for Affordable Housing

    NYC Brownfield Partnership

    Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast

    Long Island Builders Institute

    The Building & Realty Institute (BRI) of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region

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