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  • 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/

  • 22 Nov 2021 3:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On November 18th, we had a joint event with the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast on the impacts of COVID. This was Part 4 of an ongoing series we have been holding. 

    Based on this event, we have some suggested reading material for all those who are interested:
  • 17 Nov 2021 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In keeping with the Partnership’s mission of supporting the education and training of brownfield professionals, workers, and students, we are pleased to share with you the Fall 2021 Issue 2 of Blueprint, the student-led publication of NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate (view here).  We call your attention to the article about the research by  Viquar Chaudhry entitled NY Brownfield Cleanup Program and Tax Credit Analysis. It's found on page 19 of the publication linked above.

    Sound familiar to members of the NYCBP?  It should!  Mr. Chaudhry is the NYU graduate student  who worked alongside Professor Barry Hersh of the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate under contract to the New York City Brownfield Partnership on the update to the groundbreaking analysis of the NYS Brownfield Tax credits and their importance to remediation and redevelopment throughout the state. If you attended the Annual Membership Meeting of the Partnership on October 28, 2021, you heard both Mr. Chaudhry and Professor Hersh present the results of the analysis. You have access to the report on the Partnership’s website (https://nycbrownfieldpartnership.org/nycbp-industry-news/11911863).

    The Partnership has shared the report with the NYS Bar Association, REBNY, other like-minded real estate and environmental professional organizations, government officials and others interested in the continued success of the New York State Brownfield Program (NYS BCP) and Tax Credits. The Partnership’s report is the only in-depth look at the three generations the NYS BCP and clearly shows that the program has become a “more targeted and effective redevelopment tool across the state. Formerly contaminated industrial sites have been remediated and redeveloped, especially benefitting upstate communities. In NYC, the BCP has made a significant contribution to housing, including affordable housing.”

  • 17 Nov 2021 12:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New York City Brownfield Partnership (NYCBP)  Board Member Emeritus David J. Freeman , Esq. shared this recent article From Gibbons P.C. regarding the New York State Bar Association’s endorsement of a proposed bill amending and extending the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Act.

    NYCBP  is collaborating with the New York State Bar Association and other interested organizations throughout the State on this important topic.  The Partnership provided crucial support to the effort to extend the  NYS Brownfield Cleanup Act by providing extensive data analysis to document  the program’s remediation and redevelopment successes throughout New York State. The NYCBP’s recently released  2021 study (see copy here) is the second update to its groundbreaking 2014 study; all three reports were authored under contract to the NYCPB by New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

    Please go to this link https://www.gibbonslawalert.com/2021/11/04/new-york-state-bar-association-endorses-amendment-and-extension-of-state-brownfield-cleanup-act/ to read the Gibbons P.C. article in its entirety, including important links to the proposed bill and explanatory reports and detailed analysis.

    A quick summary of the bill:

    • Extends, from December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2032, the deadline for sites to be accepted into the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and qualify for tax credits. Additional time would also be provided for sites to obtain their Certificates of Completion (COCs), claim site preparation tax credits, and obtain tangible property credits after issuance of COCs.
    • Expands the ability for sites in Potential Environmental Justice Areas and Brownfield Opportunity Areas to qualify for enhanced tax credits.
    • Increases the incentives for renewable energy projects on BCP sites.
    • Expands the effectiveness of the BCP in addressing soil vapor issues, including clarification of the types of soil vapor-related expenditures that qualify for tax credits.
  • 16 Nov 2021 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Victoria Whelan joins Partnership board with a goal of adding fresh eyes, new perspectives to the organization, industry  

    By Steve Dwyer 

    Want to know the secret formula of becoming a new Partnership board member? 

    If this past year is any indication, it starts with volunteer involvement with the Partnership, often through the Scholarship or Big Apple Brownfield Awards (BABA) Committees.  This volunteerism then immerses you in the group for a couple years and can  lead to consideration as a board member. And once the new member is on board, what comes next is a host of visionary ideas about how to make the organization stronger for the future—with a broadened membership inclusion at the apex of the vision.

    This is the course Victoria Whelan charted when she was named a Partnership board member in October, 2021. She is bringing new perspectives to the time-honored organization, providing a fresh infusion of ideas bound to serve the Partnership well as it evolves further to best represent the ever-changing New York City brownfield industry. 

    Whelan has served as a nomination committee volunteer in the vetting and selection of the BABA awards and became a co-chair of the BABA initiative.

    Whelan, a NYS licensed PG, is senior associate at Preferred Environmental Services (PES), North Merrick, N.Y She joined PES because she was attracted to a smaller-size environmental organization that is a Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) environmental consulting firm. 

    Preferred has become a “go-to” WBE subconsultant for the generation of high-quality environmental data to satisfy the NYC OER, the NYSDEC, the MTA, NYCDEP, NYCEDC, NYCSCA, NYCEDC and the NYCDDC applications for large scale new urban developments.

    This firm has broad experience in all phases of environmental assessment activities, focusing on due diligence, property transfer, environmental claims handling, construction support and environmental restoration. “We run a tight ship. We strive to keep costs down, and that starts with holding down hourly [fees] for developer clients. What is cool about PES is that we are all professional geologists and are true environmental professionals, all licensed in New York.”

    Working for 13 years for another small environmental firm, Whelan “took a break for a while” to work on the contractor side of the business. “I learned a lot about time management in being part of teams with long-term goals at the forefront. People thought I was crazy to work on the contractor side, but the experience allowed me to gain a fresh perspective, and this served me well to better assess what I wanted to focus on for the next 10 years of my career.” 

    Volunteering In Her Blood 

    It’s no surprise the Whelan choose to volunteer for the BABA selection process. Outside of this industry, her passion happens to be rooted in volunteerism. She sits on a board for a non-profit that she started up herself. She adds: “Put good out into this world and good comes back—a small bit of help exponentially helps the community.” The non-profit group, ACE Family Foundation, “helps people where, say a family member is sick, we will help pay for costs not covered by health insurance.”  

    On BABA award involvement, the process entails reviewing application, organizing and planning the event, which involved making up invitations and even “selecting the swag that will be given away.” 

    The BABA experience affords a front row seat to sorting through excellence that underpins NYC brownfield redevelopment. The relationship with the Partnership has now evolved to where Whelan envisions big things for the organization as she eases into her board seat. Championing affordable housing is front and center on her agenda. 

    Affordable Housing Expertise 

    Whelan’s “true passion” is affordable housing developments. She talked about guiding affordable housing developers through the process. “I have been doing this for 15 years as part of a team with affordable housing developers. One of my eternal goals is to help reduce costs for these developers within these AH projects—lower the overhead—and then use the savings created to pump resources back into the communities, all done to enhance the lives of the local residents.” 

    Looking at the roadblocks that occur with affordable housing projects, Whelan says that federal, state and local governing bodies can often hinder progress, and this needs to be better addressed.    “I can help developers navigate the environmental hurdles: in the five NY boroughs, there’s a challenge with space [availability of real estate] for affordable housing projects.”

    BABA keeps Whelan quite busy from Jan to May. She is also working with Board Member  Kevin McCarty to expand the Partnership‘s membership to include small businesses and other Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) environmental businesses, such  as PES. 

    “Some of these smaller-size firms are under the impression that becoming part of the Partnership would not be feasible for them, starting with a misconception about costs of membership.” She wants to flip that script. “I want the Partnership become more inclusive pertaining to the diversity of the member profile. The BABA process also showed me that the same ‘types’ of projects were continually getting nominated and that also needs to diversify.”

    The future—2022 and beyond—looks brighter for what the Partnership can accomplish with a new breed of board member helming the navigation process. Finding prime new board members starts with volunteerism, and so much can dovetail from there. Stay tuned.

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