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Checking in on the City’s Brownfields Program

12 Aug 2018 6:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Jarrett Murphy, City Limits (NY)

A city initiative launched nine years ago to fill the gaps in a state program for cleaning up contaminated land has moved faster and more efficiently than its Albany counterpart, a new report finds.

The Bloomberg administration created the Voluntary Cleanup Program in 2009 to address tainted acreage that was ineligible for tax credits under the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. Both programs aim to address the legacy of industrial pollution that renders many hundreds of parcels in the city unusable, but the state’s program – born in 2003 – targeted more heavily poisoned land. The city’s VCP, which offers regulatory streamlining and grants to facilitate cleanup, is suited for sites with light to moderate levels of toxicity.

According to a report released this week by the Furman Center at New York University, the city program has enrolled an impressive number of sites—560 since 2009 – compared with statewide programs that started earlier, like New York’s 713 since 2003, or Illinois’ 799 since 1994. The biggest year in the city so far was 2015, when 153 applications were made; in 2017, there were 68.

For the entire article, see


To download the report, go to


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