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Statewide Coalition Applauds the Inclusion of Brownfields Cleanup Program and Brownfield Opportunity Areas in Governor Hochul's Budget

15 Feb 2022 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Upon Reauthorization and Renewal, These Two Programs will Continue to Address Environmental Justice, Economic Development, and Affordable Housing in Communities Across the State

A statewide coalition representing environmental advocates, environmental justice organizations, economic development organizations, and business groups released a statement in support of Governor Hochul’s inclusion of the Brownfields Cleanup Program and the Brownfields Opportunity Area program in her proposed budget. The coalition applauds Governor Hochul for making a long-term commitment to this program by proposing an extension of the program for 10 years. Additionally, the reforms that are included to provide additional resources to projects in disadvantaged communities and encourage renewable energy development on brownfield sites goes a long way to address environmental justice issues, combatting neighborhood blight, and providing thousands of homes statewide for New Yorkers who need it the most.

Since reauthorization of the Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP) in 2015, over 400 sites have participated in every county of the state. The program has generated more than $17 billion in economic development and created more than 6,000 units of affordable housing. With this longterm extension of the program, more New Yorkers will benefit from much-needed housing in disadvantaged communities. The proposed language will build upon the 2015 reforms of the BCP and provide further transparency. The BCP does more than clean up pollution—this program goes a long way to address the environmental justice issues in disadvantaged communities.

Additionally, strengthening the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program will bring added benefits to the designated BOAs in disadvantaged and urban communities, while a new focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing environmental justice in BOAs will help New York achieve the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

"The New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program not only promotes the cleanup of contaminated and underutilized properties throughout the State but also generates much-needed job opportunities for local communities during and after redevelopment. The proposed extension of tax credit incentives will continue to encourage developers to invest in brownfield sites and elevate economic development in New York. The Partnership’s members are appreciative of the Program’s proposed extension and look forward to their enactment," said Ezgi Karayel, President of the NYC Brownfield Partnership.

“The success of the New York State BCP is a model for all the states in the northeastern United States. Its impact on producing environmentally protective, high quality redevelopment projects in environmental justice areas is impressive as is the increase in creation of more affordable housing and industrial projects on formerly contaminated properties throughout New York State, said Rick Shoyer, President of the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast. “The fact that New York State’s tax credits are at a sustainable level and are more supportive of the costs of high-quality cleanups and less on development costs is a model for other states in our region."

“We would like to thank Governor Hochul for her leadership on the vital issue of brownfield remediation,” said Jolie Milstein, President and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “The Brownfields Cleanup Program is a critical tool for building affordable housing in historically disadvantaged communities, and our members enthusiastically support its 10-year extension. We look forward to engaging with the State on the details of the program and the accompanying regulations.”

"The coalition was pleased to see the Governor’s commitment to these programs and believe the language is an important first step in enhancing these critical programs. We are concerned that certain aspects of the proposal and the accompanying regulations will prevent some projects from moving forward and therefore look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to address these concerns," said Patrick McClellan of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

The coalition again applauds Governor Hochul’s leadership as her administration continues to lead our state’s economy forward and help New York communities sustainably recover. Reauthorization and reform of the Brownfields Cleanup Program and strengthening the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program is the path forward for everyone working to achieve environmental justice, expand affordable housing, and invest in New York’s renewal.

The coalition looks forward to working with Governor Hochul and the leaders in the New York State Assembly and Senate to enact these proposals that will benefit all New Yorkers.

Real Estate Board of New York

New York League of Conservation Voters

New York State Association for Affordable Housing

NYC Brownfield Partnership

Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast

Long Island Builders Institute

The Building & Realty Institute (BRI) of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region

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