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  • 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


    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.


    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.


  • 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

  • 8 Feb 2022 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointments of his climate leadership team that will focus on environmental protection and environmental justice across New York City. Mayor Adams appointed Rohit T. Aggarwala as chief climate officer and commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Vincent Sapienza as chief operations officer of DEP, and Kizzy Charles-Guzman as executive director of the new Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) — which consolidates multiple city agencies into one. Mayor Adams highlighted these accomplished environmentalists’ proven track record of promoting cleaner air, advancing climate resiliency, and protecting New Yorkers.


  • 8 Feb 2022 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2019, New York State passed a historic law to cut greenhouse gas emissions from every part of its economy. But for some, the most significant part of the legislation was its focus on environmental justice and equity. The law, titled the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, required that 35 to 40 percent of future benefits of state investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, housing, workforce development, transportation, and pollution reductions would have to serve “disadvantaged communities.”

  • 8 Feb 2022 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer 

    The Partnership’s Fall 2021 Annual Meeting saw outgoing President Ernie Rossano stating that “this is the last time I get to do this.” One centerpiece item on the meeting’s agenda was the pending legislation regarding the continuation of the New York State  Brownfield Cleanup Program —plus Partnership efforts to support the environmental section of New York state bar association on the continuation and improvement of the current BCP legislation.

    One meeting highlight was recognizing David J. Freeman, Esq., Gibbons P. C., as the 2021 NYCBP Distinguished Service Award recipient. Freeman told the group: “I’ve enjoyed very much working with all of you, and I’ve enjoyed learning from you and your camaraderie. Last but not least, I have enjoyed the enrichment of the [Partnership] programming, because, we do very important programming that allows all of us to understand better the very complex area that we’re practicing in.” 

    Freeman has worked over several decades to represent buyers, sellers and developers of contaminated properties as well as both plaintiffs and defendants on Superfund sites. He was recently responsible for the formation of the New York State Bar Association’s environmental law section of the Federal Environmental Policy Task Force.

    What follows are some of the pertinent meeting highlights: 

    Championing Minority & Women Business Development. In addition to noting that the Partnership’s 2022 Executive Team members are all women who have risen through the Partnership’s committee structure, Kevin McCarty,  with GEI Consultants, said that “one thing the Partnership has been involved in since its inception is working very closely with the City of New York. And one of the goals is to award a significant increase of contracting opportunities [in the billions of dollars] to MWBE [Minority & Women Business Development] by the year 2025, which is pretty much right around the corner. Our opportunity is to try to take the Partnership ‘vehicle’, the exposure and the connections, and expand our knowledge and understanding of how to work within the city system, so we can bring in opportunity for smaller minority and woman-owned business firms.” 

    McCarty said this would be “a big lift.” Creating connections via community-based organizations in something the Partnership is seeking to cultivate as much as we can. The goal will be to identify and bring in smaller firms that don’t have the same level of marketing and business development departments [that the Partnership larger-size members have]. “Contracting is a complicated effort for those of us that do it a lot.” He added that one achievement would be to expand on the Partnership’s pro bono counseling effort.  

    Pro bono counseling initiative. Gary Rozmus, also with GEI Consultants, shed light on the Partnership’s pro bono committee, where the goal is providing free assistance of up to five hours of brownfield-related consultation. “We stand ready to assist people in answering these questions. Part of what we do is to provide and refresh a referral list, maintaining this list of people who are willing to provide pro bono services. And, set up a waiver that insulates the committee from issues surrounding liability. We don’t provide written documentation but meet and listen to people, perhaps review reports they might have and then we'll give them verbal guidance and advice.”

    Often, the process simply means offering consultation on the phone for those seeking counsel, and explaining certain aspects of the brownfield cleanup program—how to navigate the program and the differences and interactions between the City and State programs. 

    To generate more involvement and beef up the referral list, Rozmus encourages people to email him to express interest grozmus@geiconsultants.com. 

    Social media. New board member Mari Cate Conlon said that 2021 was “another really strong year with the expansion of social media. It’s great to see that we’re continuing on a path of strengthening this presence,” which prior to 2020 had needed to be capitalized upon. The result has been doubling the number of followers on LinkedIn from this time last year, with most of the followers [about 75%] located in the New York City area. “We have also reach with Philadelphia, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, the greater Boston area and Maryland.”

    The committee is making a concerted effort to post relevant information on various brownfield-related trends and developments that occur on a regular basis. “We continue to work hard on our LinkedIn presence, and are looking to increase our marketing efforts in the next year. I think that a lot is probably going to come from the outreach we do on social media.” 

    Evolution of NYC/NYS cleanup program. Freeman made a compelling point when he said: “I have seen the NYC brownfield cleanup program grow from a dream in [Dr.] Dan Walsh’s eye to the vibrant and important organization that it is today.” (Walsh was founding Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation, the nation’s first municipal brownfield cleanup program.)

    “It’s really quite important for people, particularly new people, to understand the background and the context because this is all part of an overall continuing saga of brownfields development in New York,” he said.  

    Freeman spoke about the studies that have been executed over time and prepared by the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate—done with funding by the Partnership. The third study in the series was completed recently.  Citing two earlier  studies—one tracing back to 2012 and another to 2015—saw each result in a “snapshot of where brownfields in New York are. The Partnership funded studies are the only actual tracking of  the progress of this program over time,” says Freeman. “There’s very little independent evaluation of whether it’s working. It’s important, obviously, for all of us and our clients but it’s also important when we go to the legislature to extend and improve the program.”

    That’s because the State legislature will inevitably ask, “‘well, how do we know it’s working?’ All we have are the stories about major developments that received a significant level of brownfield credits which generated an even more significant level of investment. “You have to fight people’s biases, and you only can fight them with data. These studies have really been important in the Brownfield redevelopment realm.” Freeman believes one of the most significant things that the Partnership has done has been putting funding dollars behind these results-driven studies.

    Renewal of the BCP would, in the short term, extend the deadlines for both entry into the program and for securing tax credits: Currently, sites have to be accepted by December 31, 2022. The proposed bill would extend this for 10 years, to December 2032, and would extend the time for an applicant to obtain their COC from March 2026 to December 2036. An applicant would add an additional five years to claim tangibles from 10 to 15 years after the [certificate of completion] COC is issued. 

    The legislation would also extend the BCP to what Freeman called “very important additional areas, including environmental justice. This would be a significant expansion of the number of sites to now qualify for benefits, and would expand the ability for brownfield opportunity area (BOA) sites to qualify for credits. Additionally, it would increase incentives for renewable energy, “which is crucial now,” he said. 

    Freeman also broached the topic of “underutilized sites.” The Partnership has “fought for two years over what constitutes an “underutilized site.” Defining what those sites are is “almost impossible to follow,” says Freeman. “I think only three sites in the last six years, in the entire five boroughs, qualified as ‘underutilized.’ So we would expand the definition to [include] what we think the legislature probably intended.” 

  • 24 Jan 2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The following infographic summarizes the findings of the 2021 study conducted by the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate with support from the New York City Brownfield Partnership. 

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