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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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. 


  • 21 Jan 2022 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York City Brownfield Partnership (NYCBP), the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE), the NJ Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association (NJ LSRPA), and the NJ Chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals (NJ SWEP), collaborated on one of the largest webinars on January 19, 2022, that any of those organizations has hosted in several years.  What was the topic that drew the attention of 200+ participants?  Changes to the ASTM Due Diligence standard from the experts who participated in the design of the revised standard that resulted from over 75 meetings. 

    Moderated by Kathi Stetser and Michelle Martin, both LSRPs from GEI Consulting, with content provided and presented by Chemmie Sokolic, Falcon Real Estate Group; Chris Martell, ESA Environmental Consultants, and Larry Schnapf, Esq. of Schnapf LLC, attendees heard about the ASTM standards update process; new and revised definitions; records review and “The Big 4” property records; emerging contaminants and how they are handled under the updated standard; shelf life of thestandards and of the documents prepared; and important new appendices.

    If you missed the webinar, here is our gift to you:  these are “The Big 4” property records: i) aerial photographs, ii) fire insurance maps, iii) local street directories, and iv) historical topographic maps. 

    The session was recorded;  the Boards of Directors of the four organizations are discussing the release process.  If interested, contact sboyle@geiconsultants.com for further information. 

  • 17 Jan 2022 10:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York City Brownfield Partnership is happy to announce we are accepting applications for the 2022 Big Apple Brownfield Awards! Winners will be notified in the Spring.

    The Big Apple Brownfield Awards were created by the New York City Brownfield Partnership to highlight the most remarkable brownfield projects in New York City and the success of practitioners in the City’s brownfield industry each year. Please review the newly developed award categories for this year’s nominations here.

    The awards continue to celebrate and bring public attention to the most successful brownfield redevelopment projects, such as those that have used innovative remediation techniques, engaged the community positively, and demonstrated ingenuity in sustainability and green construction.

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership is now accepting applications for these prestigious  industry awards. To submit an application, go here: https://form.jotform.com/220135007984149

    All applications are due by Friday, February 25, 2022. No late submissions will be accepted.

    In order to be eligible for the 2022 Big Apple Brownfield Award, the project must:

    1. Be located within the five boroughs of New York City;
    2. Have been impacted by an environmental contamination issue;
    3. Have participated in an environmental remediation regulatory program; and
    4. Have received final regulatory signoff by December 31, 2021. Examples of final regulatory signoff include: Notice of Satisfaction, Notice of Completion, Certificate of Completion, Declaration of Covenant Not to Sue, or “No Further Action” letter.
  • 3 Jan 2022 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Provides Substantial Data for Letter to NYS Governor 

    The NYCBP joined with  eleven other environmental, business, and social justice organizations from throughout NYS to inform Gov. Hochul  of the importance pf a long-term reauthorization of the Brownfields Cleanup Program.  You can find the letter here.  All of these important organizations are relying on the Partnership’s report, which quantifies the number of cleanups under the program and the on-site rate of return ratio of $6.63 in private development for every $1 of tax credits. For the entirety of the BCP,  $17.61 billion in private investment has resulted from  $2.77billion in tax credits.

  • 21 Dec 2021 10:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We thank our member at AWT Environmental for this information.

    As many of you know, the NJDEP has expanded the reach of the A901 program to include the management of recyclable soil and fill materials that were previously handled outside of the hauler licensing requirement. The law was signed by the Governor on January 20, 2020, with a recent Compliance Advisory Update on September 10, 2021. The law requires companies and persons engaging in the act of hauling or brokering “dirty dirt” to obtain an A901 license in order to continue engaging in these activities. The LSRPA and other organizations are actively working with the Department to receive clarifications on the applicability of this requirement as well as exemptions for certain persons and activities. The program continues to develop as we speak.

    While it is beyond AWT’s scope to interpret the law and its applicability to any certain person or organization, here are a few resources for your review to help guide you with determining how it might affect your business:

  • 2 Dec 2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer 

    They hail from four campuses of the City University of New York (CUNY): Baruch College, York College,  City College of New York (CCNY),  and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health,   and from New York University (NYU) and Columbia University. 

    They are the recipients of the 2021 Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholarship Program, an annual event designed to provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in the brownfield industry in New York City.  

    The program was so named in honor of the avid environmentalist, talented dancer and tireless community supporter who passed years ago. 

    Administered by the NYC Brownfield Partnership, the scholarships are one-time awards of up to $5,000, where funds are disbursed directly to the college at which the student is enrolled in coordination with the school’s financial aid office.

    And this year—perhaps more than some other years—local college/university diversity reigned supreme. In fact, not only were most all institutions represented but the recipients all harbor vast and diverse callings within the redevelopment industry.

    The 2021 recipients included: Taylor Hard, CUNY; Vivian Chan, in her final year at Baruch College with a career emphasis in public administration; Gurwinder Sahota, CUNY York College, a geology major working as an assistant site supervisor; Trent Strachan, CCNY, holding an interested in indoor air quality and brownfield cleanups; Eva Grunblatt, Columbia University graduate, eager to work in brownfields and currently working on her senior design thesis; and Michelle Ren, a student at NYU with an eye on brownfields.

    In September,  the Partnership board members scheduled a Zoom call that included outgoing president Ernie Rossano, incoming president and current vp Ezgi Karayel, treasurer Michele Rogers, secretary Laura Senkevitch, executive director Susan Boyle, and board members Mari Cate Conlon, Mary Manto and Keith Brodock. 

    The Partnership members used the 1-hour Zoom conference to allow scholarship recipients to showcase their skills and promote themselves; to remind them that since they’re all students they qualify to become NYCBP members at no cost; and to inquire about how they have been coping within the COVID-19 pandemic era.

    Repeat Recipient Ascending 

    Taylor Hard, a project manager at the NYC Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) where she manages brownfield redevelopment project, is what you call a “seasoned veteran” of brownfields: not only due to holding a position within a high-profile New York City office but Taylor has notched the Duncan scholarship two years consecutively. It’s proof positive that she read the fine print about eligibility (see below) and also showed a dogged determination to vie for it a second time. 

    Attending the CUNY School of Public Health, Taylor had worked in the private environmental consulting sector for a couple of years, studying geology as her undergrad. In May 2022, she will be graduating from the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy with an MPH in community health. “I write a lot about environmental justice, building conditions, renter’s rights and more. I've also been part of the Partnership for pretty much the entire five years that I've been here at OER, and had a lot of really great experiences going to their events,” she says. 

    During the Zoom, Taylor encouraged her fellow recipients to scout for paid internships—something she once took advantage of. Taylor says that OER, in the future, might be reviving its paid internship program…and they should keep an eye out for the opportunity.     

    Other first-time recipients might want to tap into some big-time inspiration from Taylor Hard’s story. One might be 2021 recipient Michelle Ren, a junior majoring in civil engineering at New York University—and also minoring in environmental engineering.  

    Vivian Chan enters her final graduate school year at Baruch, studying in the public administrator track. “My interests are in sustainability, health care and housing. I'm really grateful for the scholarship because it actually allowed me to pursue my interest in this field,” she says. “I love the networking part of it, and want to know about how to receive emails to be alerted to news.” 

    (Editor’s Note:  As a member of the Partnership, you receive all of the email blasts.  Student membership is free of charge). 

    Meantime, Trent Straughn is studying in the Environmental Engineering program at City College of New York. “I'm interested in indoor air quality and [am intrigued by] brownfields, the cleanup of brownfields. I'm grateful for this opportunity and thank you for the scholarship,” he told those on the call. 

    Eva Grunblat, a recent graduate at Columbia U, is currently “on the job hunt,” and hoping to work within the brownfields space. “I am specifically studying peripheral alcohols as part of senior design thesis,” she says.  

    The Zoom conference was getting close to wrapping up its hour when Ricardo Sheler, a student at NYU and a scholarship recipient, came on the call to share his own future career sentiments. “I am studying sustainable urban environmental [a food security intern] with Gov Lab,” he says. “I am eager to work on projects to solve public problems, and this includes [initiatives advocating for] public space and green space, plus brownfield development.”

    Sage Advice Dispensed 

    In addition to being able to showcase themselves on the Zoom call and use it as fuel for future opportunities with Partnership members/companies plus more, the students had a chance to listen to brownfield professionals on the call provide advice for making their job searches easier.  

    Mary Manto. Board Member, told the group that “for entry level people in this industry in New York, you can expect to spend a lot of time outside conducting air monitoring and screening at construction sites. In New York City, a huge amount work is Hazmat environmental work, which, of course, segues nicely into brownfields. It is not uncommon to spend a lot of time outdoors doing this kind of work,” says Manto.  

    Board Member Mari Cate Conlon encouraged students to capitalize on LinkedIn regularly to network. “It’s a very important tool to have a conversation and get your foot in the door. Contract hiring and internships are ways to blossom—you can shine that way, and LinkedIn is a facilitator to it.”

    Sue Boyle, the Partnership’s executive director, told the students that the key is “putting yourself in front of people who can either provide advice or mentoring. If Partnership members see people consistently at events, this demonstrates commitment to working in this industry,” says Boyle. “Have a cup of coffee and come to events: The Partnership is an organization that is happy to share knowledge, and one you can bounce ideas off. Get your name out there because it’s a great way to promote yourself—don’t hesitate.” 

    Boyle also spoke about the differences between public and private sector job opportunities. “If you work in government, it provides a real good opportunity to work in new programs, which is exciting because you can help develop these programs.” She said that sustainability and alternative energy are “still new initiatives, and great places to be.” 

    Keith Brodock, Partnership member,  advised the group that if they opt to join smaller firms, it allows them to take on very broad, horizontal oversight of projects—dabble across multiple disciplines. This way, they can then decide what capacity they want to focus on. “Some folks who want a lot of responsibility right away might be happier in a smaller firm, where people are going to throw a lot more things at you,” he says.  

    For those having a hard time figuring out exactly where to start the process, Partnership members encouraged recipients to log onto the NYCBP membership page to find where all members are listed. 

    The Partnership plans to stay in touch with the scholarship recipients, who, once again, were encouraged to not “be shy about coming to events/virtual events. Keep an eye out for events on the ‘events’ section of the website and sign up for the email list.”

    Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholarship Program Eligibility

    Scholarship recipients will be selected on a competitive basis. In order to be eligible for the award, students must be:

    • Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at colleges in the New York Metropolitan Area;
    • Enrolled in at least one course during the 2021 academic year; and
    • Pursuing studies related to brownfield redevelopment, such as environmental engineering, environmental or geosciences, geology or hydrogeology, environmental policy, environmental planning, environmental justice, environmental law, real estate, sustainable development or industrial hygiene.
  • 2 Dec 2021 2:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Troy Record

    Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the completion of the Starbuck Island redevelopment project, a $65 million investment that transformed more than 11-acres of contaminated oil storage brownfield into a high-density, vibrant waterfront community in the Village of Green Island, Albany County.

    Starbuck Island connects Green Island to downtown Troy and is now home to nearly 270 residential units, a salon, a restaurant and parking.

    “The transformation of Starbuck Island into a new engaging waterfront neighborhood is a testament to the state’s brownfield cleanup program and economic development incentives,” Hochul said. “With the project now complete, residents and visitors to the newest community on the Hudson River can enjoy the many amenities, spectacular views, and local businesses, spurring additional investments to the region.”

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.troyrecord.com/2021/11/28/state-announces-completion-of-starbuck-island-in-green-island/

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