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  • 25 Apr 2018 4:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Steve Dwyer

    Across its five boroughs, New York City has developed a strong fluency for converting former brownfields into affordable housing reuses. The message is this—keep it up, New York, stay the course, because the strategy is paying prime dividends.

    It’s a point of fact that the scale of vacant properties across New York City’s five boroughs is massive, with many end use redevelopments flashing diversification all depending on the footprint, the specific need and other factors.

    Affordable housing has become a very viable option in New York City and beyond, as other cities are following suit on their pursuit of this end-use strategy. Other cities in other states might have taken a page from Via Verde, a mixed-income housing development in the Bronx acclaimed for using energy 30% more efficiently than comparable buildings, saving residents money.

    There are several myths dogging affordable housing that many groups advocating for this end use are always eager to dispel. For instance, Community Housing Partners Corp. (CHP) finds that affordable housing is “affordable in the sense of being less costly to live in because it is supported by financing from a variety of public and private sources—not because it is cheaply built or operated.”

    Building affordable housing near jobs supports the increased use of public transportation, shortens commutes and lessens congestion. The National Personal Transportation Survey found that low-income households make 40% fewer trips than other households. Studies show that affordable housing residents own fewer cars and drive less often than those in the surrounding neighborhood.

    One key is critical mass: The larger an urban footprint—such as NYC—the better the chance to leverage an idea such as affordable housing. Think about it: When critical mass is achieved—paving the way for a “brownfields by the bunches” approach to redevelopment—affordable housing quadrants located within a city schema helps avoid housing “disbursement” in favor of unification.

    The consolidation of affordable housing components across a city grid fosters public transit, biking and pedestrian options. This assists owners or renters to avoid having to either a) acquire an automobile or b) allow them to rely less on that vehicle.

    Another urban legend is that this type of project can lead to over-crowded schools, but studies show that traditional single-family home neighborhoods have two to three times the number of school-aged children than those residing in apartments, according to CHP.

    Like other similar studies, one from Wayne State University tracked property values before and after affordable housing was built and found that affordable housing often has a positive effect on property values located in higher-valued neighborhoods while also improving values in lower-valued neighborhoods—a double benefit.

    New York City got the memo about the power of this redevelopment concept a long time ago. For proof, take a look at several former Big Apple Brownfield Award winners: The Hour Apartment House III in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens now provides much-need affordable housing to formerly incarcerated mothers and their children.

    In 2017, Big Apple Brownfield Award winners that made their mark by underscoring and helping champion the affordable housing conversation included Webster Residence and Park House, which features units with rents affordable to households with incomes below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Over 50% of the Webster Residence units and 12% of the Park House units are reserved for formerly homeless persons with special needs.

    West Tremont Residences was built upon a collaborative effort between the city and state—resulting in 61 apartments available to senior citizens at affordable housing prices. Elton Crossing (Melrose C – Family), saw the creation of a mixed-use commercial and residential building to house low and moderate income families in the Bronx, to great success.

    Affordable housing is an idea that will continue to be championed across the country—and rightly so. Give New York City an assist as it’s clearly the poster child for how effective this redevelopment concept can be if executed with a unified team approach.

  • 22 Feb 2018 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Steve Dwyer

    In January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced the New York FY 2019 executive budget, and it was armed with a proposal that would defer taxpayers’ ability to claim certain tax credit amounts.

    In short, brownfield projects would be hit particularly hard. Due in large part to the brownfield credits, the market has been willing to take on significant risk associated with cleaning up contaminated sites throughout New York.

    Let’s look at this as a hypothetical: Proposed, passed or struck down, what if such a proposal were to be enacted. What is the recourse for New York practitioners to stanch the loss of such critical funding?

    The 2019 state budget proposal from January is indeed is a wakeup call to redevelopment practitioners in New York state, a call to arms activate Plan B in the name of generating project funding.

    One way would be making greater use of private capital resources as a hedge against public-side fiscal budgetary cutbacks.

    Any type of l tax deferral provision would negatively affect credits under the New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, the New York credits for low income housing and the rehabilitation of historic properties, the alcoholic beverage production credit, and others. In total, thirty‐five tax credits would be subject to this provision.

    Under this type of action, brownfield projects in progress would be in danger of disruption or failure due to the delay of the credits, which are critical to the projects’ financial viability. If enacted, the proposed deferral would jeopardize dozens of brownfield cleanups seeking to meet NYSDEC program deadlines.

    This is a major step backward for what had been a blossoming initiative. During the summer of 2017, representatives of local and state government described a reinvigoration of the New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area program. In particular, New York City’s unique programs had encompassed more than 500 site remediations and several innovative grants and initiatives.

    Under any type of rollback to much-needed tax credits, brownfield projects would be significantly affected, and this would encompass:

    •     Projects receiving a Certificate of Completion from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 2018-2020;
    •     Projects with qualified tangible property (including buildings and depreciable assets) placed in service on brownfield sites in tax years 2018‐2020; and
    •     Certain completed projects with 25 or more full‐time employees on site that are claiming the tax credit for remediated brownfields.

    With a public-side vacuum always lurking for this industry, private real estate capital resources are regarded as trending north. The HUD budget at one point last year stood at $57 billion. Commercial real estate is estimated to contribute $465 billion to the GDP and housing including both construction and consumption is now estimated back up to roughly 18% of GDP.

    As various capital-oriented “certainties” morph into “uncertainties”-within an urban redevelopment context-having a backup plan is not only prudent but greatly advisable. Who anymore can rely on the capriciousness of state and federal support? Crafting a private-side game plan is at least a hedge to warding off a disastrous outcome.


  • 22 Feb 2018 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Environmental due diligence is a critical component of any property transaction where potential environmental risks are a concern—minimize risks and protect yourself from…

    by Sylvia Carignan, BNA Environmental Due Diligence Guide

    President Donald Trump’s sweeping infrastructure plan proposes to rewrite long-standing funding options for cleaning up brownfields and superfund sites.

    The plan, released Feb. 12, seeks new ways to provide federal funding for contaminated site cleanup, potentially speeding progress toward redeveloping those sites. At the same time, the president’s budget plan would slash the traditional funding route for brownfields.

    The proposed infrastructure reforms would create new loan and grant programs but also require legislative action.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.bna.com/trump-proposes-new-n57982088681/

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Legislation Included in Executive Budget Would Bolster Efficiency for Brownfield Opportunity Area Program; Maintain Funding at $2 Million.

    by LONGISLAND.com

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced legislation that would streamline the application process of and maintain state funding at $2 million for the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program in New York State. The Brownfield Opportunity Area Program provides grants to local governments and community-based organizations to address the complex changes related to concentrations of brownfields and vacant and underutilized properties in downtowns and in neighborhoods. The grants support realistic, community-driven plans for redevelopment, providing a roadmap to transform blighted properties into vital community assets. In the FY 2019 Executive Budget, the Governor has outlined proposed changes to streamline the process and continue funding for the program.

    “This program has helped communities in every corner of New York transform blighted and neglected properties into economic engines,” Governor Cuomo said. “By reforming and streamlining this process, we will help ensure more local governments have access to tools and resources they need to help New York continue to thrive.”

    The Governor’s FY 2019 Executive Budget includes reforms to the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program that would:

    • Streamline planning by eliminating the existing pre-nomination step and creating a single-step community-based process to achieve Brownfield Opportunity Area designation;
    • Allow for existing plans or plans developed outside the Brownfield Opportunity Area process that meet general criteria to qualify for the program; and
    • Allow existing Brownfield Opportunity Areas to apply for financial assistance for pre-development grants.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.longisland.com/news/01-22-18/governor-cuomo-announces-reforms-to-brownfield-opportunity-area-program-in-fy-2019-executive-budget.html

  • 2 Nov 2017 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ver 50 people from across the industry were in attendance on October 30th as Melissa Herlitz and Jean You of the NYC DCP gave a presentation on the “Flood Resilience Zone Text Update.”

    According to the FEMA Flood Map – Citywide Flood Risk – New York’s City’s flood risk is high. The floodplain affects a large geography and most community and council districts.

    • 100 Year Floodplain (FEMA 2015 PFIRM)
    • Population: 400,000
    • Buildings: 71,500
    • 50 of 59 Community Boards Buildings
    • 45 of 51 Council Districts


    Planning a Resilient NYC



    Photos from October 30, 2017 Presentation 

     


  • 30 Oct 2017 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Kenneth Laks, CPA Journal

    New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program was initiated over a decade ago to encourage private enterprise to redevelop contaminated properties and revitalize their surrounding communities. The program was recently extended, providing greater certainty that the incentives will continue to exist in the future, albeit at a lower level. Financial advisors of taxpayers with qualifying property should become familiar with the new requirements and engage the services of engineering consultants to maximize the potential tax benefits.

    In April 2015, New York passed its annual budget, which included a 10-year extension of the Brownfield Cleanup Program. The state tax credits available for developers who clean up and build on contaminated sites were supposed to expire at the end of 2015, but now have the necessary funding to continue.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.cpajournal.com/2017/10/23/new-life-new-york-brownfield-redevelopment-credit/

  • 8 Sep 2017 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Maya Rajamani, dnaInfo (NY)

    A developer who secured an $8 million tax credit for cleaning up a contaminated lot on the West Side plans to build a 57-story tower at the site.

    Silverstein Properties last week filed for permits to construct a mixed-use tower on the site of a former Mercedes dealership at 520 W. 41st St., between 10th and 11th avenues, city Department of Buildings records show.

    In 2016, Silverstein received $8,028,106 in publicly funded tax credits through the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program for cleaning up the site, a state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman said on Monday.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170815/hells-kitchen-clinton/silverstein-41st-street-permits-filed-brownfield-cleanup-program

  • 4 Aug 2017 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Carl MacGowan, Long Island Newsday (NY)

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must file a new plan to contain or remove contaminated soil from a former Yaphank rail yard because of a change in the state’s hazardous waste site cleanup program, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.

    A previous remediation plan — in which the soil would be left in place and covered with an asphalt and concrete cap, proposed by the MTA in 2012 — is no longer valid because it was filed under the DEC’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, which is being phased out, DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said.

    For the entire article, see

    http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/state-mta-must-file-new-cleanup-plan-at-yaphank-site-1.13902885


  • 29 Jun 2017 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 26, 2017, the NYC Brownfield Partnership held its annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards at the New York Law School, recognizing the following outstanding New York City remediation projects:

    Project Location: 

    Webster Residence and Park House, Bronx, NY

    Project Team:

    • Breaking Ground
    • Mountco Construction and Development Corp.
    • Environmental Resource Management
    • Gibbons PC
    • CookFox Architects

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Supportive/Affordable Housing is presented to Webster Residence and Park House.  Developed by Breaking Ground and Mountco Construction and Development Corporation, this project transformed a 1.36-acre vacant lot in the Bronx into two sister buildings, Webster Residence and Park House, creating a total of 418 apartments.  All of the units will have rents affordable to households with incomes below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  Over 50% of the Webster Residence units and 12% of the Park House units are reserved for formerly homeless persons with special needs.  Designed by CookFox Architects, Webster Residence and Park House will include green roofs, high performance building systems, multi-purpose spaces for resident and community use, and a shared courtyard.

    Project Location: 

    Springfield Gardens and Linden Place, Queens, NY

    Project Team:

    • Integral Engineering, P.C.
    • NYC Economic Development Corp.
    • NYSDEC

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Climate Resiliency is presented to Springfield Gardens and Linden Place. The NYCEDC completed a multi-phased drainage improvement and wetland restoration project for the neighborhood of Springfield Gardens. Large scale drainage improvements, roadway construction and existing park and wetland rehabilitation was implemented in order to drastically reduce the potential for overflow into the surrounding residential areas. After the completion of the project, the residents of Springfield Gardens have found relief from damage to their homes and dangers on the road formerly resulting from severe flooding during heavy rain events. Especially in consideration of the threat of increased storm frequency and severity from climate change, this project has significantly improved the drainage infrastructure and capacity of the Springfield Gardens neighborhood, making resident less vulnerable to potential storm impacts.

    Project Location: 

    West Tremont Residences, Bronx, NY

    Project Team:

    • Impact Environmental Consulting, Inc.
    • Acacia Network/Promesa

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Collaboration is presented to West Tremont Residences.  The successful development of this 25,500-square-foot former drycleaning site located in the Bronx was accomplished because of the collaborative efforts between the developer, multiple non-profit organizations, the environmental consultant, OER, and DEC during each stage of the project.  At the onset, the developer purchased the property from the City of New York for a nominal fee in exchange for their commitment to construct affordable housing.  Funding for the project was provided by NYSHCR, NYCHDP, the Community Preservation Corporation, and private lenders.  Additional grant money was obtained through the BIG Program and successful completion of the Voluntary Cleanup Program.  Because of the collaborative efforts of the project team, the city, and the state, there are 61 new apartments available to senior citizens at affordable housing prices.

    Project Location: 

    Jamaica 94th Avenue, Jamaica, Queens, NY

    Project Team:

    • Artimus Construction
    • GF55 Partners
    • AKRF, Inc.
    • Rodkin Cardinale Consulting Engineers

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Community Outreach is presented to Jamaica 94th Avenue.  Community Outreach and development was a major commitment of the team that was factored during the building’s construction. Hiring local community residents and purchasing the construction materials from local distributors was an opportunity this team made effort to maintain.  The team provided construction certification classes to the local community in order to assist the local community to receive the necessary credentials in order to work on the job site and on future job sites.  Upon completion of the building, a full staff shall be required for the operation and upkeep which the team will be striving to fulfill with local residents. Throughout the development and construction process, the team also worked with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Queens Economic Development Corporation and local elected officials to push the connection with the community and economic development.

    Project Location: 

    Elton Crossing (Melrose C – Family), Bronx, NY

    Project Team:

    • AKRF, Inc.
    • Phipps Houses
    • The Briarwood Organization
    • Magnusson Architecture and Planning
    • CPC Resources

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Economic Development is presented to Elton Crossing (Melrose C – Family).  The team responsible for this development created a mixed-use commercial and residential building that houses low and moderate income families in the Bronx where a 30,300-square-foot industrial factory and warehouse once stood.  The development is located within the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area and directly addresses several of the housing and economic development needs directly outlined by the associated plan.  The project supported 320 construction jobs and upon opening, the development will support 15 permanent jobs.  In addition, the developer is working with the local community board to find tenants for at least 50% of the units.

    Project Location: 

    Greenwich Street Residential Development, New York, NY

    Project Team:

    • AKRF, Inc.
    • Metro-Loft Management LLC
    • Cetraruddy Architecture DPC

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Environmental Protection is presented to the Greenwich Street Residential Development. The team completed a multi-phase remedial investigation of on- and off-site conditions under NYC OER’s E-Designation program including: soil, groundwater, and soil vapor testing; subsurface utility/drain and geophysical investigation, including recorded video; groundwater flow direction study using data logging transducers; and extensive historical review of properties in the immediate vicinity of the project site. The forensic analysis of groundwater samples confirmed the presence of two separate TCE-contaminated groundwater plumes (one contained within the site and one originating off-site).  NYC OER and NYSDEC collaborated to guide the investigation and subsequent remediation, which included soil removal, groundwater treatment, and installation and operation of an active sub-slab depressurization system. Completion of the redevelopment was able to proceed under complicated environmental conditions due to the unprecedented level of collaboration between several parties who came together with a shared vision and passion for getting the job done, and for promoting the protection of human health and the environment.

    Project Location: 

    149 Kent Avenue Site, Brooklyn, NY

    Project Team:

    • Roux Associates, Inc.
    • L+M Development Partners, Inc.
    • GF55 Partners
    • Sive Paget & Riesel P.C.
    • Congress Builders LLC
    • Global Design Strategies

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Innovation is presented to 149 Kent Avenue Site.  The 40,000-square-foot property located in Williamsburg housed a former rail terminal turned storage warehouse and required extensive remediation of chlorinated volatile organic compound impacted media to accommodate development of the 7-story, mixed-use commercial and residential building and underground parking garage.  Of the 42,000 tons of soil removed and disposed of off-site during construction, about 5,200 tons were classified as chlorinated volatile organic compound hazardous waste.  Treatment of CVOC-impacted groundwater was innovatively accomplished by injecting a zero valent iron (or ZVI) permeable reactive barrier beneath the southwest portion of the property.  The project team successfully remediated the property through the Brownfield Cleanup Program and in accordance with the E-Designation placed on the site.

    Project Location: 

    Flushing Commons Phase 1, Queens, NY

    Project Team:

    • AKRF, Inc.
    • Rockefeller Group Development Corporation
    • AECOM Capital
    • Perkins Eastman

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Sustainable Remediation is presented to the Flushing Commons Phase I redevelopment site.  The Sustainable Remediation practices employed during development included transportation of approximately 14,000 cubic yards of soil to nearby local areas affected by Super Storm Sandy through OER’s Clean Soil Bank and 20,000 cubic yards of soil to a recycling plant for reuse as concrete mix.  In addition, 3,400 cubic yards of material was imported through OER’s clean soil bank and asphalt bank for backfill purposes.  These efforts eliminated more than 1,500 truck trips to regional disposal locations outside of NYC, effectively reducing the carbon footprint of the redevelopment, and provided for the reuse of material on-site and elsewhere in NYC.

    Project Location: 

    Compass One Residences, Bronx, NY

    Project Team:

    • Impact Environmental Consulting, Inc.
    • Monadnock Construction, Inc.

    The 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Open Space is presented to Compass One Residences.  Where a vacant auto repair shop and junkyard were once located in the Bronx, two newly developed mixed-use commercial and residential apartment buildings, one 9 stories and one 15 stories, now stand.  A 7,800-square-foot residential courtyard connects the two buildings, and an 8,000-square-foot landscaped community space spans the block connecting Boone Avenue to West Farms Road.  Both outdoor spaces provide walkways and benches for pedestrians and the landscaping includes various shrubbery and perennials, as well as, recycled bedrock and boulders produced during construction of the development.  Notably, the mid-block landscaped area will ease the flow of pedestrians as redevelopment of Crotona Park East/West Farms rezoning area continues.

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership Would Like to Thank

    Event Partner

    New York Law School, Center for Real Estate Studies

    Gold Event Sponsors

    • Alpha Analytical
    • Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE)
    • Brown Sharlow Duke & Fogel, P.C.
    • Tenen Environmental, LLC

    Silver Event Sponsors

    • AKRF, Inc.
    • Breaking Ground
    • Creative Environmental Solutions Corp. (CES)
    • Clean Earth, Inc.
    • GEI Consultants, Inc.
    • Mountco Construction and Development Corp.
    • Schnapf LLC
    • Roux Associates, Inc.

    After-Party Sponsor

    Langan

  • 19 Apr 2017 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Program milestone 18 months ahead of schedule

    NEW YORK – To kick off Earth week, today Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the completion of environmental remediation on the 500th tax lot under NYC oversight since his administration began in 2014, achieving 75% of his OneNYC cleanup goal 18 months ahead of schedule. Each of the remediated properties has achieved rigorous state cleanup standards. The remediated land has been redeveloped with over 27 million square feet of new building space, representing private investment of $8.2 billion in new construction and producing an estimated 3,700 permanent new jobs, 3,600 new units of affordable and supportive housing and is expected to generate over $960 million in new, long-term tax revenue for NYC and a comparable amount to New York State. Construction of these new buildings also employed over 13,500 construction workers. Remediation since 2014 has cleaned up a total of 138 acres of land, including removal of more than 300 underground storage tanks.

    “We are cleaning up vacant lots and revitalizing neighborhoods across the city – and hitting our goals a year-and-a-half ahead of schedule,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York’s city cleanup program is a commitment to combatting pollution that disproportionately affects already disadvantaged communities. Our environmental remediation program is also a boon to the economic vitality of neighborhoods, creating jobs and cleaning up land to welcome new businesses and housing.”

    These cleanups eliminate pollutant exposure and have occurred in many NYC neighborhoods, with over 50% of the 577 remediated lots located in moderate- and low-income communities. All of these lots have been redeveloped, enabling safe reuse and revitalization of property that has been vacant for an average of over 10 years. Eighty-one (81) of these remediated properties are located in the coastal flood zone, where pollutant removal reduces risks from storm surge, achieving over 80% of the OneNYC goal to clean up sites in the floodplain. Remediation is managed by the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) which operates the NYC Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) under a collaborative agreement with New York State that delivers high quality cleanups that meet stringent state land remediation standards. The VCP is the only municipally-run environmental remediation program in the nation, and it manages lightly- and moderately-contaminated property. OneNYC is Mayor de Blasio’s plan for a strong and just city.

    Mayor de Blasio also announced the establishment of new grants under OneNYC to assist community-directed revitalization of vacant land in city neighborhoods. These grants, part of OER’s Place-Based Community Planning program for vacant land, provide between $10,000 and $25,000 to help community-based organizations and faith-based developers identify strategic vacant and contaminated properties and plan environmental remediation to pave the way for community-oriented development.

    The 500th remediated tax lot is located on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 127th Street in Central Harlem. The property has been redeveloped with a 10-story building that is now the home for Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children & Family Services and The Children’s Village, two of the oldest charitable organizations in the U.S. (founded in 1836 and 1851, respectively), 47 units of affordable housing, and 12 units of supportive housing for youth at risk of homelessness as they transition out of foster care. The project was funded by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation and is a joint venture with affordable housing developer Alembic Community Development. The project created 117 construction jobs and will support 85 permanent jobs, including 20 new jobs that include local Harlem residents. Children’s Village serves families and vulnerable children across NYC.

    Harlem Dowling provides child-care and foster care services and established the first orphanage for children of color located on West 12th St. near Sixth Avenue. In the next decade, larger quarters were constructed on Fifth Avenue between 43-44th Streets. This facility was burned down during the NYC draft riots in 1863, forcing the organization to relocate several times since. The new building, known as the Home for Harlem Dowling, is dedicated to the original building that was destroyed. The remediation resulted in the removal and regulated disposal of over 7,000 tons of soil and achieved the highest standard for soil cleanup established by New York State. The property was awarded a Green Property Certification by OER, signifying that it is now one of the safest buildings in NYC to live and work.  The project also received $70,000 in cleanup grant funding from OER. The property was vacant for 23 years before remediation and redevelopment.

    “We have limited available land for new development, and it is vitally important to rehabilitate our vacant and abandoned land. This administration recognizes the disproportionate impact of environmental pollution in low-income communities and has focused city resources in disadvantaged areas to pursue greater equity in environmental quality and economic opportunity,” said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris. “We will continue to build new programs and find innovative ways to improve our environment and help communities achieve their grass-roots vision for reuse of vacant land.”

    “Cleanup of contaminated land is one of the most important environmental success stories of our generation. With our colleagues at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NYC is working to reverse 150 years of land pollution, one property at a time. This effort is critically important in low-income communities where the impacts of pollution and land vacancy hit hardest,” said Dr. Daniel Walsh, founding Director of OER.

    “Ensuring that historic brownfields are remediated and contributing to the city’s economy is a vital part of creating healthy and affordable neighborhoods,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the NYC Mayor’s Office. “Today, we celebrate the achievements ahead of schedule by our colleagues at the Office of Environmental Remediation to reach the completion of environmental remediation on the 500th tax lot since 2014 representing 75% of our cleanup goals.  This illustrates the commitment of the City and partners and ensures that our land is not only clean and livable, but resilient in the face of climate change.”

    “Contaminated sites put our communities at risk, lower people’s quality of life and can lead to economic blight,” said Catherine McCabe, Acting U.S. EPA Regional Administrator. “The EPA provides support to local and state partners to clean up contaminated properties such as those in New York City’s Office of Environmental Remediation program. We applaud their hard work and the accomplishment of their 500th remediated lot.”

    “Along with clean air and water, clean land is one of our most important natural resources. However, our cities carry the burden from many decades of indiscriminate pollution of land. We are pleased to see the leadership that New York City has shown in operating the only city-run land remediation program in the country and the difference this program has made for our environment in such a short time. We are glad that OER works closely with New York State DEC to ensure rigorous state standards are met. We need new ways to improve the environment, and this is a model other cities can consider to address their own legacy of pollution,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

    “We are very pleased to see the progress the de Blasio administration is making with its land remediation program. Land cleanup is important in cities because many contaminated properties are located in disadvantaged communities, cause a disproportional burden of pollution to residents and are a significant source of environmental injustice. Cleanup under OER oversight lowers this pollution burden and also enables revitalization of abandoned properties in ways that can serve community needs, such as creation of new affordable housing, jobs, and community facilities. The environmental remediation that is happening in the coastal flood plain also lowers the risks of storm surge and removes contaminants from our communities,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.

    “Regulation of cleanup of land pollution is an important function of government. When Environmental Defense Fund supported the NYC Brownfield bill in NYC City Council hearings several years ago, we recognized that this would result in the first city-run land remediation program in the country. We are pleased with the remarkable progress OER has made in just a few years. Importantly, New York City is showing other cities that they can lead in the effort to overcome land pollution and improve the quality of our environment for future generations,” said Jim Tripp, Senior Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund.

    “For decades, our neighborhoods were the dumping grounds for the city, particularly in low-income communities of color, and residents were forced to bang their heads against the wall as more and more vacant properties became polluted eye sores that were left to fester by the city,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Finally, we are making common sense decisions to protect and improve our environment while also lifting up neglected communities. I’d like to thank and congratulate Mayor de Blasio for delivering environmental remediation that will help revitalize distressed areas and capitalize on their vacant land to ensure that these properties are used to improve long-forgotten neighborhoods.”

    “This is not just a physical restoration of our historically neglected communities,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.  “It is also a restoration of the commitment that all communities, no matter their wealth or location, matter. Instead of polluted vacant lots, our neighborhoods can now welcome affordable housing and new businesses. I applaud the Mayor’s steadfast commitment to environmental and economic justice for today’s generation and beyond.”

    “We applaud the de Blasio administration for demonstrating such a strong focus on improving the quality of land and at the same time facilitating revitalization of vacant land in New York City communities. Clean land is good for the health of New Yorkers, and new buildings provide space for housing and enables growth of businesses, creating jobs and building our economy. Congratulations for achieving this important milestone,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

    “The City of New York has put significant effort into working with site owners and developers to remediate their land and achieve redevelopment goals. OER has been a responsive partner in the implementation of improvements to make the process for clean-up and accessing clean soil more predictable, successful, and cost-effective,” said John H. Banks, President of the Real Estate Board of New York.

    Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, said, “Now more than ever, our city must lead the way on the environment.  The Office of Environmental Remediation’s Voluntary Cleanup remediation program, the only municipal environmental remediation program in the nation, helps make our city cleaner and less polluted.  This newly-completed remediated lot will be redeveloped with affordable housing and help produce new jobs, which brings benefits for our environment as well as our economy.  Thank you to OER for implementing this important program.”

    “We enjoyed working with OER in the NYC Voluntary Cleanup Program to make this property safe and were impressed with their willingness to work hard to find ways to help us. OER’s programs helped save us $600,000 in state taxes and fees for the cleanup and provided grant funding that helped make this project work. We would recommend this program to anyone trying to revitalize contaminated land in NYC,” said Mike McCarthy, Director of Alembic’s New York office.

    “Remediating 500 properties over one-and-a-half-years across all five boroughs of NYC is a tremendous accomplishment unprecedented at the municipal level anywhere in the United States,” said Mimi S. Raygorodetsky, President of the NYC Brownfield Partnership. “Returning this land to productive use has transformed many neighborhoods across the city.”

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