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NYCOER Announces Environmental Review and Assessment Letter Program

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the ERA letter will identify those studies and remedial actions in the agreement or the request for the letter may be withdrawn.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.

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