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  • 2 Apr 2014 2:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The BCP reform, specifically changes to the Brownfield Tax Credits (BTCs) and the refinancing of the Superfund refinancing were not viewed as issues for 2014/15 fiscal year.

    To read the complete article by Partnership Board member, Larry Schnapf of Schnapf LLC, please click HERE.


  • 24 Feb 2014 2:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NYSDEC has announced streamlined procedures designed to expedite execution of environmental easements in the State’s Brownfield, Superfund and Environmental Restoration Programs. For most properties, the need for a title report and title insurance has been waived and the requirements for site surveys have been simplified.

    For more information, see the following pages on NYSDEC’s website:

  • 7 Feb 2014 2:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Reproduced with permission from Daily Environment Report, 20 DEN A-7, 1/30/14. Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com

    More than 60,000 brownfield sites in New York with potential contamination make a robust state brownfield redevelopment program important, according to a report released Jan. 29.

    This importance is reflected in a relatively consistent number of annual applications for the state’s brownfield cleanup program, said the report, ‘‘New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program and Tax Credit Analyses.’’ Applications number 30 to 40 per year, fluctuating with policy, court decisions and market conditions, the study said.

    Sponsored by the New York City Brownfield Partnership (NYCBP), the study analyzes the impact of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), and specifically the impact of brownfield tax credits, on the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in the state. NYCBP is a nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York City.

    Click to view full report.

  • 29 Jan 2014 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The study was directed by Barry F. Hersh, Clinical Associate Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, with financial support from the Partnership, and focuses on the impacts of the significant changes made to the Program in 2008. Key findings include:

    • Sites admitted into the BCP since 2008 tend to be smaller, more geographically diverse, more likely to be located in low income areas, and more likely to have industrial or affordable housing end uses than sites admitted in the 2003-2008 period.

    • The post-2008 projects are, at least to date, significantly less expensive to the state treasury than those admitted in the 2003-2008 period. The average tax credit cost for those sites to date is approximately $1 million, compared to $14 million for pre-2008 projects.

    • A much greater percentage (74%) of credits of tax credits for post-2008 projects have been earned as a result of site cleanup expenses rather than development costs (26%). The comparable percentages for pre-2008 projects are 7% (cleanup expenses) and 93% (development expenses).

    • The approximately $1 billion of the BCP tax credits has stimulated approximately $8 billion of direct investment of cleanup and development dollars. Using well-accepted economic modeling, the study estimates that the total economic activity stimulated by the BCP to date is approximately $15.5 billion.

    Click here to view full study.

  • 27 Jan 2014 2:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please see below for an excerpt from the governor’s press release and a link to an article by Partnership Board member Larry Schnapf of Schnapf LLC.

    “The Executive Budget includes legislation to extend the Brownfields Cleanup Program for ten years, with important reforms to protect taxpayers and promote brownfield redevelopment, particularly in Upstate New York. Under the reformed program, remediation tax credits will only cover actual cleanup costs and redevelopment credits will be available for sites that have been vacant for over a decade, worth less than the cleanup costs, or are priority economic development projects. In addition, the Budget includes a new $100 million appropriation to extend the State Superfund cleanup program, including $10 million through the Environmental Restoration Program to address municipally-owned brownfields.”

    http://www.environmental-law.net/2014/01/governor-cuomo-proposed-amendments-to-brownfield-program/


  • 7 Jan 2014 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    70 Percent of all Brownfield Cleanup Sites are in Historically Disadvantaged Neighborhoods 

    Properties in NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program have Average Vacancy of about 18 Years Prior to Enrollment and Cleanup

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the completion of 14 environmental cleanup projects in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan as a part of the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program. The cleanups resulted in the removal of more than 195,000 tons of soil and remediation of 5.6 acres of land. Construction of new buildings on these 14 properties is now nearly complete and will include over 1.7 million square feet of new industrial, commercial, retail and residential building space – representing over $820 million in new private capital investment. These fourteen projects will create over 500 new jobs, 250 units of affordable housing and generate over $147 million in new revenue for the City. The New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program, which was an initiative under PlaNYC, is the nation’s first municipally run cleanup program and is operated by the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation. The Mayor also announced the launch of the New York City Clean Soil Bank, a landmark soil exchange that will enable recycling of clean native soil excavated during development of remediated properties for reuse on City and other construction sites, saving the City up to $5 million in soil purchase costs each year and lowering truck traffic, congestion and associated vehicle emissions. The clean soil can be used to elevate properties and build protective barriers to protect against storm surges and fulfills a milestone of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. The NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program was established in January 2011 and has approved over 150 cleanup plans in its first 32 months of operation. Collectively, these projects will result in cleanup of over 320 tax lots and will enable approximately $4.5 billion in new capital investment, over 13 million square feet of new building space, over 2,200 units of affordable housing and will create over 4,400 permanent new jobs.

    “The NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program is bringing dozens of dormant and contaminated properties back to life throughout the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Working with private developers we are cleaning up these lots and building housing and commercial space that will attract families and businesses to the communities where they are located. In just 2.5 years, this unprecedented program is making possible 13 million square feet of residential and commercial development – including 2,200 units of affordable housing – that will generate more than 4,000 permanent jobs.”

    “The NYC Clean Soil Bank matches projects that generate clean soil with city and other construction projects that need it,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway. “This program will lower brownfield development costs and accelerate cleanups. The Clean Soil Bank will not only reduce City construction costs, it is an innovative reuse of material that otherwise would have ended up in landfills, open solid waste transfer stations and at sites outside of the city. Congratulations to Dr. Dan Walsh and his team on their tremendous success on the Clean Soil Bank and the entire NYC Brownfield Cleanup program.”

    The NYC Clean Soil Bank enables transfer of clean, native soil excavated from remediated brownfield sites on nearby City capital construction projects and brownfield projects that need clean soil, eliminating soil disposal and purchase costs and reducing transport costs. The program is expected to recycle over 100,000 tons of clean native soil each year.

    “For decades, vacant brownfield properties have accumulated in some of our most disadvantaged neighborhoods,” said Dr. Daniel Walsh, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation which operates the Brownfield Cleanup Program. “The City Brownfield Cleanup Program is now achieving high quality cleanups on these brownfield sites, reversing this harmful trend and enabling community growth and revitalization. This would not have been possible without PlaNYC and the strong support of community leaders, the environmental industry and Commissioner Joseph Martens and his staff at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.”

    “The NYC Clean Soil Bank provides the City with sustainable and cost-effective tools to make properties more resilient to climate change,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Director of Resiliency for the City of New York. “Clean soil from this program could be used to raise low-lying properties and vulnerable shorelines to reduce the risks of sea level rise and storm surge. This initiative is helping to build a stronger, more resilient New York.”

    “Reuse of soil within the NYC Clean Soil Bank is consistent with the State’s goal to maximize beneficial reuse of recyclable material,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. “This cost effective solution advanced by our partnership with New York City promotes sound environmental practices. We are pleased to work with OER to help provide the basis to operate this innovative new program.”

    “Mayor Bloomberg made a major commitment to cleaning up brownfields when he released PlaNYC in 2007,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Now we are seeing the return on that commitment, with 150 cleanup projects underway in communities throughout the City. The NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program not only makes our communities healthier to live in, it has also shown other cities around the nation that local government can play a major role in revitalizing blighted land.”

    “The Brownfield Cleanup Program, coupled with smart rezoning, demonstrates the success the City can achieve by repurposing underutilized, contaminated land and focusing future development on job creation and the expansion of economic opportunity,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

    “New York City Environmental Justice Alliance believes that brownfield cleanup in our low income communities must be a high priority,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “I am very glad to see that the NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program has made so much progress in this area. We need to continue to build on this success.”

    “The high quality cleanup of brownfield sites that is achieved in the city Brownfield Cleanup Program is an important mechanism for improving our communities,” said Deborah Shapiro, President of the New York City Brownfield Partnership. “The NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program and the other new programs that the Office of Environmental Remediation has established have made brownfield cleanup more predictable and more cost effective than ever before. We look forward to continued success of the program in the years ahead.”

    “In just a few years, the NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program has become an effective and highly regarded government program to facilitate environmental cleanup and provide essential liability protection for developers cleaning up brownfield sites,” said Steven Spinola, President of REBNY. “Considering the large number of brownfield sites in New York City, this program is important for development and an important environmental legacy for the Bloomberg administration.”

    “The NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program kept our project on schedule and helped us with funding that made cleanup of the property more affordable,” said Eric Bluestone, a partner in Bluestone Jamaica I, LLC which developed one of the sites cleaned up in the NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program. “OER staff put a lot of effort into our project to help it succeed.”

    The fourteen recently completed cleanups are located at 90-11 161st Street in Jamaica, Queens; 23-10 41st Avenue in Long Island City, Queens; 39-16 Prince Street in Flushing, Queens; 224-01 Merrick Blvd in Laurelton, Queens; 2329 Frederick Douglas Blvd in Harlem; 312 West 37th Street, 400 Park Avenue South, and 529 West 29th Street in Manhattan; 105 Metropolitan Avenue, 386 Wallabout Street, 264 North 10th Street, and 210 North 12th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 547 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn; and 125 Flatbush Avenue Extension in Downtown Brooklyn. This brings the total number of completed Sites in the NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program to twenty-one. Each of these properties will receive the New York City Green Property Certification, demonstrating that the new buildings are among the safest places in New York City to live and work.


  • 6 Dec 2013 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    See below for an article by Board member Larry Schnapf of Schnapf LLC.

    During the Great Recession, many brownfield sites in the lost their project financing. In New York, sites that were remediated and received a Certificate of Completion (COC) remain valuable because owners have ten years to develop the sites and claim the lucrative qualified tangible property (QTP) tax credit (explained below). As market conditions have stabilized, these remediated New York brownfield sites have become attractive investments for developers.

    Since the new investors may have development plans that differ from the original project, it may be necessary for the purchaser to incur additional cleanup costs. Recently, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) issued an advisory opinion discussing if a purchaser of site with a COC could claim additional site preparation tax credits for additional remediation expenditures incurred to prepare the site for construction of an industrial manufacturing facility.

    Under the BCP, applicants may be eligible for a number of tax credits including the Site Preparation Tax Credit and the qualified tangible property (QTP) tax credit. The BCP tax credits are only available for costs incurred after the brownfield cleanup agreement as been executed. Only those parties on the BCA may be named on the COC and only those parties on the COC may claim the BCP tax credit unless the COC is subsequently transferred in accordance with NYSDC regulations.

    The site preparation costs include all costs incurred to prepare the site for development and includes cleanup costs as well as costs of excavation, shoring, sheeting, dewatering, fencing, etc. that are incurred to qualify the site for a COC. Additional site preparation tax credits may be available for five taxable years after the COC for costs that are incurred to place the property into service. Since this site was accepted into the BCP in 2006, the site preparation tax credit would be equal to 12% of the site preparation costs paid or incurred by the taxpayer. The applicable percentage that may be claimed could be increased by 8% if the property is in an environmental zone and another 22% if the property been remediated to a track 1 (unrestricted) cleanup standard for a maximum percentage of 22%. This credit component can be first claimed in the taxable year in which the effective date of the COC occurs and it is available for up to five taxable years after the issuance of the COC.

    Likewise, the QTP tax credit component for this property would be equal to 12% of the cost of the improvements that were constructed on the brownfield site but could be increased to 22%. The QT tax credit for the tax year that the property is placed into service and for up to ten years after the COC has been issued.

    Previously, the DTF has ruled that new buildings, including structural components of buildings, constructed on remediated land meet may be eligible for the QTP tax credit. NY Adv Op Comm T & F TSB-A-04-(1)I. Moreover, the DTF has ruled that costs incurred to rehabilitate existing buildings and construct of new buildings will be eligible for QTP tax credit. NY Adv Op Comm. T & F TSB-A-05-(4)C.

    As is the practice with advisory opinions, the identity of the petitioner and the site were redacted. The generic facts are that the petitioner was considering purchasing approximately 15 acres of currently vacant land that had been was accepted into the BCP in 2006. DEC subsequently issued a COC (the date of the COC was redacted) to the current owner. The purchaser planned to enter into an amendment to the Brownfield Cleanup Agreement (BCA) and arrange to have the COC transferred to it in accordance with NYSDEC regulations. The Purchaser planned to construct a manufacturing facility on that site and lease that facility to another entity whose name was also redacted.

    Because the additional site preparation costs would have been incurred more than five years after the COC was issued, the DTF concluded that the purchaser could not claim the site preparation credit. NY Adv Op Comm. T & F, TSB-A-13(10)C, Petition No. C130607A (9/10/13).

  • 25 Nov 2013 2:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beginning in December 2013, the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation may issue a letter providing the results of Environmental Review and Assessment where the presence of light to moderate contamination at private property in the city of New York may affect the closing of a financial transaction.

    OER will issue an Environmental Review and Assessment letter (ERA letter) that may comfort parties engaged in a financial transaction where it determines that existing conditions at a property are protective of public health. An ERA letter is generally not issued where contamination requires further action beyond that contemplated under the transaction to render a property protective for its intended use.

    A party that requests an ERA letter will meet with OER to discuss the nature of the financial transaction, the property, prior and current site uses and operational history, known site contamination of soil, groundwater and soil vapor, the extent of current site development, the requestor’s plans for the property, the site’s future use following the anticipated financing and an indication of the role the ERA letter from OER may play.  The requestor must also provide OER with copies of all environmental reports on the property, including a Phase I and all Phase II studies, and environmental data and information, including information about any environmental violations at the property.

    OER will review and assess the property data and information, compare reported contamination levels with state cleanup standards found at 6 NYCRR §375, consider customary requests for public health protection and determine whether it can provide a written assessment indicating that existing or proposed property conditions are protective of the property’s future use. Where further environmental study or remedial action is indicated by the review, at the agreement of both parties, the ERA letter will identify those studies and remedial actions in the agreement or the request for the letter may be withdrawn.

    If the requesting party decides it wants an ERA letter, it shall submit payment to OER of $3,500 to cover the cost of the office’s review, preparation and issuance of the ERA letter.

    OER reserves the right to elect not to issue an ERA letter if, upon completion of its review, it determines the site is not protective of public health, or for other factors at the sole discretion of the director.

  • 7 Oct 2013 2:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York City Brownfield Partnership is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel A. Walsh, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation, will be presented with the 2013 American Bar Association Award for Excellence in Environment, Energy and Resources Stewardship.

    The Partnership, and three of its Directors, David Freeman, Roberta Gordon, and Larry Schnapf, nominated Dr. Walsh in recognition of his leadership and significant contributions to brownfield redevelopment in New York City.  Past recipients of the Award include a founder and early President of the Environmental Law Institute, one of the nation’s leading environmental think tanks; the President of CERES, a prominent coalition of corporations, investors and public interest groups that promotes sustainable investment; and the Director of Environmental Support for the company responsible for arranging for remediation of hundreds of former General Motors Corp. properties nationwide.

    This prestigious award will be presented at the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Fall Conference on Friday, October 11, 2013 at the Hilton Baltimore. A number of Partnership Directors and members are planning to attend the awards ceremony and hope that others will consider joining us to honor Dan on October 11.

  • 11 Jun 2013 2:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mayor Bloomberg presented “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” a plan that prepares the City for the impacts of climate change. A statement on “A Stronger, More Resilient New York” and the Mayor’s remarks can be found below. 

    When Mayor Bloomberg gave his remarks on “A Stronger, More Resilient New York” the Mayor provided a presentation on the report. 

    Mayor Bloomberg today presented “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” the comprehensive and ambitious report that analyzes the city’s climate risks and outlines recommendations to protect neighborhoods and infrastructure from future climate events. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg launched the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency and charged it with recommending steps the City should take to protect against the impacts of climate change.

    Under the leadership of Seth W. Pinsky and using the foundation built through the City’s comprehensive sustainability agenda, PlaNYC, the Special Initiative produced the 430-page report, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” with more than 250 specific recommendations to further fortify the city against climate events. The Mayor released the report today in an extensive presentation to elected officials, business and community leaders and leading climate experts at the Duggal Greenhouse – which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and has since reopened as one of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 330 businesses. The following is an overview of the innovative recommendations proposed in the report, available on www.nyc.gov, and excerpts from the Mayor’s prepared remarks.

    “Six years ago, PlaNYC sounded the alarm about the dangers our city faces due to the effects of climate change and we’ve done a lot to attack the causes of climate change and make our city less vulnerable to its possible effects,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “But Hurricane Sandy made it all too clear that, no matter how far we’ve come, we still face real, immediate threats. These concrete recommendations for how to confront the risks we face will build a stronger more resilient New York. This plan is incredibly ambitious- and much of the work will extend far beyond the next 200 days – but we refused to pass the responsibility for creating a plan onto the next administration. This is urgent work, and it must begin now.”

    “‘A Stronger, More Resilient New York’ outlines a comprehensive strategy that will not only help our City’s most-affected neighborhoods to rebuild stronger and safer, but will help make our entire City less vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” said Pinsky, Director of the Mayor’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. “In the 21st Century, it is the cities that confront climate change head-on that will be best positioned to survive and thrive. Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s vision and leadership, New York City is doing just that, setting our city up, once again, as a model for the rest of the world.”

    “‘A Stronger, More Resilient New York’ is the result of a massive effort by the Bloomberg Administration with the active involvement of an array of City agencies and expert advisors,” said Marc Ricks, Chief Operating Officer of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. “We also benefited from a close partnership with State and Federal agencies, and from extensive input from elected officials, community groups, and over a thousand New Yorkers who participated in our public workshops. With this level of collaboration, I am confident that this report represents the very best thinking about how to make New York safer in the years to come.”

    New York City’s Climate Risks

    “As bad as Sandy was, future storms could be even worse. In fact, because of rising temperatures and sea levels, even a storm that’s not as large as Sandy could – down the road – be even more destructive… We have to look ahead and anticipate any and all future threats, not only from hurricanes but also from droughts, heavy downpours and heat waves – which may be longer, and more intense, in the years to come.”

    In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg convened the New York City Panel on Climate Change – making New York one of the first American cities to organize a group of leading climate and social scientists to develop local climate change projections. Their findings, released in a groundbreaking report in 2009, described the climate impacts New York could expect in the future – which include not just sea level rise and more frequent coastal storm surge, but increased heat and more frequent and intense downpours. In September 2012, the City passed Local Law 42 to establish the Panel on Climate Change as an ongoing body to advise the City on the latest climate science.

    Following Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg re-convened the New York City Panel on Climate Change to update its projections and develop future coastal flood risk maps – all of which would inform the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency.

    The new data from the Panel shows:

        Sea levels could rise at a faster rate than forecast just four years ago – potentially by more than 2.5 feet by the 2050s.

        By the 2050s, the city could have three times as many days at or above 90 degrees – leading to heat waves that threaten public health and the power system, among other infrastructure systems.

        The number of days with more than two inches of rainfall will grow from three in the last century to five in the 2050s.

        The Panel’s full report, complete with detailed insight of their methodology and findings, is available on www.nyc.gov and informed the development of the proposals outlined in “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.”

    Finally, the analysis from the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency shows that the costs of storms will increase: Sandy totaled $19 billion in damage and economic loss; in 2025, that cost grows to $35 billion and by 2055, $90 billion.

    Coastal Protection Proposals

    “For decades, the City allowed the waterfront to become polluted, degraded and abandoned. We have spent the last 11 years reversing that history and reclaiming the waterfront for all New Yorkers to enjoy – and we are not going to stop now.” 

    New York City’s 520-mile coastline is longer than those of Miami, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. According to the latest projections from the Panel on Climate Change, sea level rise of up to 11 inches in the 2020s and 31 inches in 2050, coupled with more frequent and intense storms, put the city’s coastline in jeopardy. However, with 535 million built square feet and nearly 400,000 residents living in the existing 100-year floodplain, the coastline is critical to New York’s future. The coastal protection strategies developed by the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency focus on fortifying defense and expanding natural protections, rather than retreating from the waterfront. These strategies include a series of first-phase measures that can be implemented immediately to protect the most vulnerable assets and shoreline, as well as a number of additional “full-build” projects to protect most of the vulnerable shoreline within the city. These additional projects can be implemented as additional resources are secured.

        Install Adaptable Floodwalls and Other Measures: Known as integrated flood protection systems, measures like flood walls and levees can reduce the risk of flooding during storm surges. They can also be integrated with the urban environment to provide access to the waterfront for recreational, transportation and commercial uses. The City will work to install, in a first phase, integrated flood protection systems in Hunts Point in the Bronx to protect the Food Distribution Center; on the East Harlem Waterfront along the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive; at Hospital Row north of East 23rd Street in Manhattan; the Lower East Side; Chinatown; the Financial District; and in Red Hook in Brooklyn.

        Staten Island Levee and Floodwall System: The City will construct an extensive system of permanent levees, floodwalls and other protective measures along the East Shore of Staten Island – from Fort Wadsworth to Tottenville, including Midland Beach. The project will rise as high as 15 to 20 feet, protecting communities that were devastated by Sandy and that have seen coastal flooding even during regular nor’easters for years.

        Install Storm Surge Barrier at Newtown Creek: The City will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and install a storm surge barrier with gates and connecting levees at Newtown Creek that is navigable in non-storm conditions. In extreme weather, the barrier system close, keeping water from flowing into the creek and creating “backdoor flooding” in neighborhoods from Long Island City and Greenpoint in Maspeth.

        Study Future Surge Barriers for Jamaica Bay and Other Regions: The City will also work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of surge barriers across the mouth of Jamaica Bay to protect the communities of Gerritsen Beach, Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Canarsie and Mill Basin, the Rockaway Inlet, as well as the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

        Install Tidal Barrier Along Coney Island Creek: Known as revetments, stone shorelines protect against erosion and rising sea levels. The City proposes installations across Coney Island Creek, to prevent “back-door flooding” from smaller storms.

        Install Dune Systems in Staten Island and Rockaway Peninsula: The City will also complete the construction of a dune system from New Dorp Beach to Oakwood Beach in Staten Island, and complete dune improvements on the Rockaway Peninsula from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street. The City will work with the Army Corps to study and construct a dune project along the Rockaway Peninsula, starting with a double dune system at Breezy Point, and also study a dune project for Coney Island.

        Install Bulkheads: Bulkheads are typically made of stone or concrete and hold shorelines in place, while also protecting against sea-level rise and preventing erosion. The City will implement a program to raise bulkheads in targeted neighborhoods throughout New York, for example the bayside of the Rockaway Peninsula, Broad Channel and Howard Beach in Queens; Greenpoint in Brooklyn; the North Shore in Staten Island; West Midtown in Manhattan; and Locust Point in the Bronx and other low-lying locations. The City will also repair bulkheads on the Belt Parkway that failed during Hurricane Sandy; and repair and improve bulkheads from Beach 143rd Street to Beach 116th Street along Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway.

        Study Construction of ‘Seaport City’: By installing a multi-purpose levee with raised edge elevations, the City could both protect much of the East River shoreline south of the Brooklyn Bridge from inundation and create a new area for both residential and commercial development. Using the model of Battery Park City, which was designed to withstand major flooding, the City will work with local communities, businesses and property owners to explore opportunities for a new neighborhood.

        Restore and Maintain Beaches: The City will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to replace sand and expand the beaches – a critical storm barrier – lost during and before Hurricane Sandy. This will include ongoing restoration at Coney Island Beach, including 1 million cubic yards of sand; Rockaway Peninsula, which will include 3.6 million cubic yards of sand; and South Beach, Crescent Beach and Tottenville in Staten Island.

        Complete Floodgate and Tide Gate Repairs: The City will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete floodgate repairs at Oakwood Beach in Staten Island and complete a tide gate repair study at Flushing Meadow Corona Park in Queens.

        Minimize Wave Zones: The City will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study and install: offshore breakwaters that absorb the force of waves adjacent to and south of Great Kills Harbor in Staten Island. The City will also work with the Army Corps to study the feasibility of offshore breakwaters near City Island, the Bronx, and west of the Rockaway Peninsula.

        Expand Natural Areas for Wave Protection In Queens and Staten Island: The City will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study and install a wetlands restoration project to weaken waves along Howard and Hamilton Beaches and elsewhere in Jamaica Bay in Queens; and a living shoreline of oyster reef breakwaters and sand in Tottenville in Staten Island. The City will also work with the Army Corps to use their existing Congressional authorization to expand wetlands throughout Jamaica Bay and citywide, including the North Shore of Staten Island the upper reach of the East River.

        Protect Con Edison’s Farragut Substation: The City will work with Con Edison to help it protect the Farragut substation, which serves nearly 1.25 million people and was nearly flooded during Hurricane Sandy due to its location on the Brooklyn waterfront.

        Explore a Series of “Full Build” Defenses, including Beginning the Analysis and Design Process for Seaport City: By installing a multi-purpose levee with raised edge elevations, the City could both protect much of the East River south of the Brooklyn Bridge from inundation and create a new area for both residential and commercial development. Using the model of Battery Park City, which was designed to withstand major flooding, the City will work with local communities, businesses and property owners to explore opportunities for a new neighborhood.

    Buildings

    “However, for all we do, we can’t entirely prevent water from entering our neighborhoods. So our plan is designed to ensure that when flooding and other extreme weather do happen, buildings can survive with less damage.” 

    After Hurricane Sandy, the City assessed building damage data and found that, while small, light buildings built before 1961 – when the City updated its building codes – represented just 18 percent of buildings in the Sandy inundation zone, they comprised 73 percent of those destroyed or structurally compromised. In the case of most other buildings, damage tended to be primarily to critical building systems, such as electrical systems, elevators, boilers and drinking water systems; there were relatively fewer modern and larger buildings that experienced significant structural damage. These findings – among others – demonstrate that construction and zoning codes play a crucial role in ensuring that the city’s building stock can withstand flooding and other destructive forces, and that protection of critical building systems must be a priority. The City’s proposals will improve the existing 68,000 buildings now in the 100-year floodplain through retrofitting and updating current regulations so that new construction meets higher standards.

        Designate $1.2 Billion for Flood Resistance Measures: The City will make $1.2 billion in loans or grants available to building owners to complete flood resiliency measures, including: elevating or protecting critical building equipment, fire protection systems, electrical equipment, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; upgrading foundations; and reinforcing exterior walls to flood-proof buildings. Funds will be set aside for particular affected building types and areas, including: $100 million for 1- to 3- family homes; $500 million to be divided among the boroughs based on their share of buildings in the 100-year floodplain; and $100 million for affordable housing projects.

        Update Zoning and Construction Codes: The City has proposed an amendment to the Zoning Resolution to allow buildings to be elevated without being penalized for height limitations; update the Building Code to require new construction to meet specific elevations as predicted by flood risk and clarify wind-resistance specifications; and amend the Construction Codes to better protect systems, including fire protection, electrical, and telecommunications systems.

        Rebuild Damaged Housing Stock: Through the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations, the City will deploy the initial Federal allocation of $530 million to rebuild and improve properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

        Retrofit Public Housing: The City will strengthen New York City Housing Authority developments and use $108 million in Federal Hurricane Sandy aid to begin the first phase, focused on power resiliency and the installation of emergency generators or other alternative measures.

        Launch Sales Tax Abatement Program: The City will launch a sales tax abatement program for industrial businesses concentrated in coastal areas to subsidize the cost of making flood resiliency improvement. The program will be implemented by the New York City Industrial Development Agency and benefits will be capped at $10 million.

    Insurance

    “Another enormous challenge facing communities is the price of flood insurance. For the most part, the Federal government will cut you a break on insurance only if you elevate your home. This one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work and today, we’re proposing a solution to this problem: a partial rate reduction for homes that make flood-related improvements – even if they do not elevate.”

    Hurricane Sandy highlighted the impact recent reforms to the Federal flood insurance program will have on New Yorkers. Properties located in the 100-year floodplain (determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps) are required to have flood insurance if they have a Federally-backed mortgage. Last year, before Hurricane Sandy struck, Congress passed legislation that will dramatically increase the cost of Federal flood insurance for many New Yorkers. That means that for a typical family living in Tottenville, Staten Island (a community with a median household income of $80,000), the cost of flood insurance alone may be up to $10,000 per year – 20 percent of the family’s after-tax income. The City’s proposals intend to reform the Federal flood insurance program so that it’s both more flexible and affordable, while encouraging property owners to take steps to reduce their risk of flood damage.

        Reduce Rates for Different Resiliency Measures: Under Federal guidelines, the cost of flood insurance is reduced if buildings are elevated – but that’s simply not possible in New York. Approximately 26,000 buildings in the newly expanded floodplain would not be able to elevate easily – if at all – and so would not qualify for reduced flood insurance rates. The City will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a system that allows proven mitigation measures other than elevation to qualify for premium reductions.

        Create Flexible Pricing Options: Flexible pricing options can encourage more people, especially those not required to carry insurance, to purchase coverage that meets their needs. A high-deductible could help reduce rates and offer protection to those who either aren’t required to have insurance or outside of a flood zone but would still like a policy.

    Healthcare System

    “We have to make sure the facilities we depend on in emergencies are there for us when we need them most. So we’ll amend the Building Code to require new facilities to meet high level flood resistance and have access to backup capacity for power and other critical systems, not only in the case of flooding, but also heat waves.” 

    The City’s healthcare system must maintain sufficient capacity to meet patients’ needs during disasters and be prepared to resume normal services as quickly as possible. The recommendations will help ensure that medical facilities can stay open and continue to serve New Yorkers.

        Improve New Hospital Design and Construction: The City will amend the Construction Codes to require hospitals to build to the 500-year flood elevation standards, which are higher than the 100-year flood standards required today.

        Require Existing Hospitals to Meet Higher Standards: The City will require existing hospitals in the 500-year flood-plain to adopt retrofits that protect their electrical equipment, emergency power systems and domestic water pumps by 2030. The City will adopt similar requirements for nursing homes and adult care facilities in the 100-year flood plain.

        Launch $50 Million Mitigation Program for Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities: The City will make up to $50 million available to qualifying nursing home and adult care facilities that invest in mitigation retrofits, including protecting power, water, air conditioning and heating systems.

    Power, Telecommunications and Other Critical Systems 

    “Millions of New Yorkers lost power during Sandy – and hundreds of thousands lost heat, internet service or phone service. Fuel supplies were also knocked out, resulting in long waits at the pump. Most of these networks are not run or regulated by the City – but the time has come for all of our private sector partners to step up to the plate and join us in protecting New Yorkers.”

    In the future, stronger storms and longer and more intense heat waves will pose to challenges to the city’s infrastructure and systems need to be upgraded. Fifty-three percent of New York City’s power plants are in the 100-year floodplain and by the 2050s, 97 percent will be; fuel suppliers are not required to harden supply lines, although many are in areas at risk of flooding or power outages; and significant gaps in telecommunications regulations have left cable TV, broadband, wireless and wired voice system networks exposed.

        Require Utilities to Address Climate Risks: The City will work with utility companies, regulators and climate scientists to analyze the risks and require plans that will update systems so that they can withstand events like Hurricane Sandy. The City will also work with suppliers and regulators to harden key power generators and electric transmission and distribution substations against flooding; strengthen overhead lines against winds; and protect the natural gas and steam systems against flooding.

        Develop Power Restoration Standards: Currently, utilities are not held to service restoration standards during severe weather events like Sandy. Thus, the City will work with the Governor’s Office, the State Public Utility Commission, Con Edison and LIPA to create these standards, and also to develop strategies to assess power conditions in real-time and restore service more quickly.

        Set Resiliency Requirements for Telecommunications: The City will include resiliency standards – including repair timelines – a part of its oversight of telecommunications providers. The City will establish the Planning and Resiliency Office within the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to work with service providers to increase the resiliency of their respective systems within New York.

        Diversify Energy Sources: The City will work with utility companies, technology developers, and building owners to increase the flexibility of the grid and strengthen it with the integration of distributed generation and renewable resources.

        Develop Fuel Security Strategy: The City will work with the Federal government to convene a regional working group to create a plan to harden fuel pipelines, refiners and other terminals so that fuel supplies remain intact during climate events. The City will also develop a robust system to provide fuel during supply disruptions caused by severe weather events, supply emergency response and other critical fleets.

    Community Rebuilding and Resiliency Plans

    “Our analysis of critical infrastructure was citywide, but focused especially on the most vulnerable areas. To help make those areas less vulnerable, our report also includes a number of big ideas to help the communities move forward.”

    Aside from looking at citywide vulnerabilities and strategies to strengthen the five boroughs, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York” details specific strategies for the communities severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. These community rebuilding and resiliency plans are described in chapters designated to the following areas:

        Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront

        East and South Shores of Staten Island

        Southern Queens

        Southern Brooklyn

        Southern Manhattan

    Cost/Implementation

    The total cost of the more than 250 recommendations detailed in the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency report is nearly $20 billion – a sum that assumes each proposal is implemented along the suggested timeline. The City can rely on $10 billion provided through a combination of City capital funding already allocated and Federal relief, as well as $5 billion from additional, expected Federal relief already appropriated by Congress. The report lists several strategies to cover the remaining $4.5 billion gap, including additional Federal funding and City capital.

    Credit: www.mikebloomberg.com


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