Log in
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 20 Sep 2023 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    Mohammed Wara, an undergraduate student at New York University's Schack Institute of Real Estate, fondly reminisces about late-night cab rides with his father. These unforgettable experiences ignited his passion for and aspiration to pursue a career in brownfield redevelopment. Mohammed is eager to embark on this career in the near future, and his selection as one of the eight 2023 Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholarship Program recipients will further facilitate and expedite his journey. This annual program aims to provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in New York City brownfields.

    "I used to join my father during his night shifts," Mohammed recalls. "It was our version of 'take your son to work' day. He showed me Manhattan's iconic high-rise architecture from the roads, bridges, and tunnels connecting the five boroughs. It's challenging for me to express the wonder I have for the city's real estate—it has been ingrained in me since childhood," he says.

    Samuel Syrop, a student at the City College of New York/The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, developed his curiosity about environmental issues at a young age. "Throughout the early 2000s, my mother was actively involved in protesting the Indian Point nuclear site near our home in Westchester County. I remember pondering the issues at hand: the health of the soil, water, and the overall ecosystem. The impact our modern culture can have on the environment is significant, as is its role in local economies and job creation," says Samuel.

    As a current MLA student at Spitzer, Samuel is forming his own opinions about prioritizing these issues, especially within the city's boundaries. "Brownfield remediation serves as a particularly compelling focal point for addressing urban inequality while supporting local ecology. Transforming a site too toxic for development into a place where people can contribute to a healthy community can be an exceptionally meaningful process. I couldn't think of a better mission to dedicate one's career," Samuel articulates.

    Nicholas Russell, a student at CUNY/Queens College, contemplates a career in environmental science. He emphasizes the importance of his membership in the Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group. Since 2020, Nick has witnessed firsthand the significance of integrating state Brownfield sites into remedial and redevelopment planning on a watershed scale.

    "Brownfield sites are numerous, and the groundwater transport of contaminants, such as PCBs, PFAS, and heavy metals, transforms a hydrological network of point sources into a diffuse groundwater transport system of contaminants at the watershed scale. The EPA is currently conducting a lateral groundwater study at Newtown Creek to develop a model of upland source contaminant transport into the Creek. This necessitates access and cooperation from both Primary Responsible Parties in the Federal Superfund process, as well as cooperation from State Superfund and Brownfield sites," explains Nick.

    He also notes the overlap between data and methods used by the DEC and EPA. However, Nick highlights the challenge of integrating upland Brownfield sites into the Newtown Creek Superfund conceptual site model, which has become clear to him through years of community meetings with the EPA. Nick emphasizes the need for a collaborative process between DEC and EPA to inform expeditious remedial action and advance Brownfield planning and redevelopment.

    These three ambitious rising professionals are joined by five others in receiving the Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholarship, a program named in honor of Ms. Duncan, an avid environmentalist, talented dancer, and tireless community supporter who passed away several years ago, inspiring many along the way.

    Other recipients include Brenda Lau, a Master's Candidate in Urban Planning at Hunter College; Danielle Gartenberg, Hunter College; Kevin Orlic, CUNY; Benjamin Kalmanowitz, City College of New York; and Srisubrahmanya Nandula, New York University.

    Several scholarship recipients recently shared their life experiences that inspired them to pursue careers in brownfield redevelopment, the significance of the Abbey Duncan Scholarship in advancing their careers, and their specific career aspirations. Undoubtedly, there are numerous diverse opportunities to contribute to the brownfield redevelopment spectrum.

    Fueled By Life's Experiences

    For Srisubrahmanya Nandula, growing up as a hearing-impaired individual meant becoming a "visual learner." He explains, "I used my sight to learn about the world around me. Cities have always intrigued me. As a child, I spent hours sitting on my parents' balcony in India, watching the hustle and bustle of people, rickshaws, and cars. I memorized city maps, including the locations of streets, bus stations, and city landmarks to learn more about the cities that I love."

    This passion led him to pursue Geography, GIS, and Environmental Science during his undergraduate studies. "As a GIS Specialist at the New York City Parks Department, I've worked on numerous projects, including a physical census of the city's trees. Trees play a vital role in purifying our air, cooling urban areas, and minimizing floods. Designing and building effective parks, which include smart water retention ponds, can help combat the impacts of climate change."

    The Master's in Urban Planning program at New York University is a "critical step in helping me achieve my dreams. I am formally training and gaining exposure to disciplines such as finance and public policy. I'm learning the fundamentals of urban development, including land use law, environmental zoning, environmental sustainability, and community engagement. Thus far, the program has helped me build a multidisciplinary perspective, allowing me to think critically about cause and effect."

    Srisubrahmanya emphasizes that these learnings are critical as he works with his agency to build natural spaces and restore brownfields into parks, benefiting both the community and the climate.

    At Hunter College, Brenda Lau believes that "mission-driven development, whether for the manufacturing or affordable housing sector, is pertinent to my values as a planner and community steward."

    Brenda continues, "Through my work in project management at a non-profit industrial developer, I partner with community development entities (CDEs) to identify public investment financing streams, such as historic preservation tax credits, for the redevelopment of dilapidated industrial buildings into multi-tenanted manufacturing spaces."

    She remains "hopeful that leveraging these private funding streams for public investment may provide avenues to disrupt, or at least interrupt, patterns of inequitable development that pervade New York City."

    **Each scholarship recipient has been profoundly inspired by some life lesson—or lessons—as well as personal experiences.**

    From his earliest memories, Benjamin Kalmanowitz (City College of New York) harbored an "enduring affection for the natural world." He recalls the days of constructing "rudimentary forts in my backyard and embarking on adventurous camping journeys during my adolescence."

    He explains, "The outdoors always bestowed upon me a profound sense of tranquility, an escape from the noise of daily life. However, it's become evident that not everyone shares this deep connection to nature, and that's where my journey takes a turn."

    Recognizing the disparity in attitudes towards the environment prompted Benjamin to align his passion "with purpose. As I entered college, I sought to weave together my love for scientific exploration and mathematical analysis with a commitment to preserving the environment," he says. "This led me to the realm of environmental engineering. In this academic pursuit, I've embraced the role of a staunch advocate against pollution, particularly as it pertains to polluted brownfield sites. These sites stand as stark reminders of the ecological consequences of human activity."

    As a college student, Benjamin believes he's assuming the role of an environmental engineer who "ardently opposes the degradation of our planet. With a fusion of scientific knowledge and a resolute environmental consciousness, I'm driven to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time: The fight against pollution, especially in neglected sites, fuels my determination to bridge the gap between awareness and action. It's about channeling my passion for the outdoors and my academic journey into a tangible force for positive change."

    Scholarship Accelerates Career Timetable

    The economic assistance provided by the Abbey Duncan Scholarship is helping the eight recipients in several unique ways. For Srisubrahmanya Nandula, it removes a substantial financial barrier as he pursues a master's degree. "I am very grateful for this as it empowers me, as a hearing-impaired individual, to gain additional confidence—and see a way that I can make an impact in my community. This scholarship provides the opportunity to gain exposure to a new community of professionals, research, and collaboration."

    Brenda Lau is grateful to the NYC Brownfield Partnership for supporting her through her fourth and final year in the MUP program at Hunter College. "To cap off my graduate studies, I am hoping to complete an independent study on how public benefit financing mechanisms, such as brownfield remediation tax credits, can alleviate economic stressors for vulnerable communities in the midst of gentrifying neighborhoods," Brenda says.

    Mohammed Wara, responsible for funding his education as his father is the sole earner of the household, sees the scholarship helping pay for housing during the Fall 2023 semester and to buy essentials, such as groceries. "I am entering my senior year and want to meet professionals in the industry. With new connections and knowledge, I can work to be a contributing member of brownfield development projects," he says.

    Other recipients cited similar sentiments about the magnitude of the Duncan scholarship. Samuel sees every dollar of assistance making a compelling difference, especially in New York City. "It's reassuring to know that there are people and organizations out there that support students interested in the brownfield redevelopment industry," he says.

    Nick is a "non-traditional" (i.e., older) student with a family who returned to school to make a career transition to urban coastal and watershed science. The Abbey Duncan scholarship is "a weight off my shoulders—one that anyone in my position can immediately understand. I am truly humbled and grateful."

    Nick believes the scholarship is "perfectly in line with my educational trajectory. I really did go back to the drawing board when I enrolled in the Environmental Science program at LaGuardia Community College, which I can say without reservation, was a life-changing experience. My academic and research interests have evolved at every juncture, and the support provided by this scholarship will give me room to breathe, concentrate, and take my next step in the journey toward a career as an environmental scientist," Nick states.

    As for Benjamin, the scholarship carries the potential to alleviate significant burdens from his family's shoulders. One of the most invaluable aspects of the scholarship lies in its ability to shield him from the weight of student loans, and thus "pursue my studies without distractions. As a sophomore, its impact resonates far beyond the realm of financial relief but empowers me to dedicate myself entirely to my educational journey," he says.

    Looking Forward

    As the recipients look ahead, all have unique visions that are ambitious, if not altruistic. With a degree in Urban Planning, Srisubrahmanya's dream is helping New York City and other cities in the United States and around the world develop and utilize their natural spaces to counter the impacts of climate change.

    "I strongly believe that trees and parks are one of the most important tools we have in preserving our communities. Brownfield spaces are an excellent source and opportunity to redevelop natural spaces and revitalize communities. I hope to be a strong champion for the redevelopment of brownfield spaces within the New York City government," he says.

    Brenda Lau, a part-time graduate student and full-time Assistant Project Manager at a non-profit industrial developer, has been able to combine her professional pursuits in equitable economic development with academic interests in environmental justice and community advocacy.

    "I consistently ask how we can sustain local economies and create opportunities for inclusive participatory design—design meaning both physical infrastructure and grounding community principles. I am interested in continuing to pursue work in community-controlled real estate development, such as social housing financing initiatives or community land trust ownership models," she says.

    As Benjamin looks ahead and sizes up the intricate world of brownfield redevelopment, he's particularly drawn to addressing the complex challenges associated with soil contaminants. He notes that an environmental engineer can play a pivotal role in revitalizing abandoned or polluted lands—transforming them into safe and vibrant community spaces. Within this context, "I envision myself engaging in cutting-edge research to develop innovative technologies for soil remediation. I'm driven to explore advanced techniques such as phytoremediation and bioremediation, thereby harnessing the power of nature and science to restore contaminated soils efficiently and ecologically."

    "As I think about my future in landscape and crafting and building spaces, I like to think about where my efforts may have the greatest impact," says Samuel. "It's one thing to take a good place and make something great of it, but it's an entirely different thing to take something toxic or off-limits and revive it into a functional space, both ecologically speaking as well as socially."

  • 20 Jun 2023 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Big Apple Brownfield Awards. You can download a pdf of the award flyer here.

  • 2 Jun 2023 3:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership serves as a primary resource for information on brownfields and brownfields redevelopment in New York City and beyond. The New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) has been instrumental in offering a robust environmental cleanup program by incentivizing private sector remediation and redevelopment efforts.

    However, a challenge has arisen with Proposed Bill S5868. This bill links certain tax credits, site acceptance, and ongoing participation in the BCP to prevailing wage compliance – a link that may have a severe detrimental effect on the functioning of the BCP.  We acknowledge the intention behind prevailing wage but question the effectiveness of its inclusion in this bill and believe that reconsideration of this requirement is warranted to ensure alignment with the BCP’s initial legislative goals.

    To better understand our concerns and proposed alternatives, the Partnership offers a detailed commentary on the bill, which is available here.

    Please review the commentary to grasp the potential implications and challenges posed by this bill to the BCP and its stakeholders. The Partnership remains committed to excellence in responsible brownfield redevelopment and fostering collaboration among developers, government agencies, and community groups.

    Posted June 2, 2023

  • 8 May 2023 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer 

    This is a narrative about a professional life well lived. About steadfast—and effective—service to two not-for-profit brownfield entities. 

    Susan Boyle is retiring, doing it “cold turkey-style,” resting comfortably so that as she passes the batons, “all the pieces are in place” for brighter futures. 

    Sue, first and foremost, is retiring from her “day job” as an environmental remediation leader at GEI Consultants Inc. But that retirement has a domino effect, as she’s also stepping aside from her dual roles as contracted executive director of the New York City Brownfield Partnership and Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE). 

    These affiliations lasted longer than Sue had originally anticipated. After working 27 years on the public side of the environmental remediation sector with the New Jersey Hazardous Waste Facilities Siting Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Sue entered the private sector in 2008 when she joined GEI Consultants. 

    Summing up the career ride, Sue told me that she’s tinged with a “bittersweet sentiment because I love running organizations. But there are other things in life,” that Sue can’t wait to start pursuing.

    “I plan to go ‘cold turkey’ and totally step away for at least six months. I can’t wait to not have to set an alarm clock—and I’m thrilled about the idea of drinking a cup of coffee before it gets cold!” 

    Read ahead for a recent conversation with Sue on the past, present and future. 

    Q: Take us back to the beginning and your recollection of joining the Partnership?

    SB: I was not around when the Partnership started in 2006—I came on board in 2008, and applied to become a board member. As I became involved, it became clear to me that the Partnership some contracted staff—it had originally been operated by New York City’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) staff.  That was a lot to take on and effectively deliver on expectations to support and grow the organization. We had the Big Apple Brownfield Awards (BABAs) and Brownfield Scholarship Program to plan and execute. No doubt, they needed external help, so I talked to the Partnership Board about hiring me an executive director. It was a very part-time role, but one that was necessary for the organization. On the BCONE front, I helped shape the mission, bylaws, policies and procedure—I had a voice in that from the outset, whereas the Partnership had already established that. Regarding both organizations, it was important to implement such polices as board term limits so we could hear form new professionals, and give them a seat at the table. Former Board Member, Mary Manto of Tenen Environmental was the champion of that effort for the Partnership.

    Q: What was the early reception of non-for-profit brownfields organizations among brownfield professionals in the region? 

    SB: I think it was well received. The bylaws that were promulgated by The Partnership [and BCONE] were clear and had a solid vision. One thing we were eager to have was a blending of both public and private professionals involved, to establish an eclectic balance across all professional capacities—this would include environmental consultants, attorneys, environmental insurance, lenders, architects, and others. It’s been an ongoing mission—and challenge—to engage with and bring in some of these professional capacities to a greater degree outside of the core consultant and environmental attorney world. The Partnership [and BCONE] has made great strides along these lines. 

    Q: At the outset of your affiliations with the Partnership, and even into 2023, what are some areas you’d like to see improved upon? 

    SB: One of the frustrations I’ve always cited is that we offered excellent pro bono services to both public and private sectors—it was very frustrating that more organizations  didn’t take advantage of those services. It was a question of, how do we reach them in the first place? 

    At BCONE, what has been challenging is getting information out—spreading the word—about successful redevelopment projects that go live. We have so many environmental consultants  who are involved on the front end of a project cycle, but unfortunately many are long gone by the time redevelopments  go live. We want to shine a light on so many of the success stories, but need a better mechanism to do so. At the Partnership, the BABAs serve as a great vehicle to help shine a light on the ‘success stories.’ With BCONE, one vital stride that needs to occur is growing membership rolls—I think it’s experienced slower growth than we had anticipated. BCONE has such a large geographic footprint that the question is ‘how can we offer services to states from  Maine to Maryland ? And, both organizations have long been environmental consultant-heavy in representation, so we’ve always strived to branch out to be more inclusive. 

    Q: What are some of the professional aspects about new Partnership executive director Laura Senkevitch that allows you to step way confident about the future—and also as it relates to BCONE executive director Anne Lazo?

    SB: They both know their respective organizations very well. Take Laura: she knows so much about taking non-profits forward, having held leadership roles in both fundraising and program development at Human Rights First and Fortune Society. She has significant experience across such areas as donor cultivation, program development, strategic partnership management, non-profit board governance, and more. She’ll work extremely well with the Partnership leadership team of [President] Ezgi [Karayel], [Vice President] George [Duke], [Treasurer] Michele [Rogers] and [Secretary] MariCate [Conlon]. She knows and understands the board, having served as a board member. Laura is also an excellent networker. Anne Lazo has been BCONE’s webmaster for quite a while, and has literally read every word about BCONE—she’s probably the only person besides me who has. Anne knows the group and knows the people. She is incredibly knowledgeable about the BCONE organization. She also has many years of experience consulting with businesses and non-profit organizations. I’m also very heartened that both BCONE and the Partnership have hired administrative assistants in Michele Hurley [BCONE] and Marianne Leone [Partnership]. I think we have grown the professional services area to where you have the right mix of staff—and that all the piece are in place.

    Q: What do you plan to do with all this newfound free time on your hands? 

    SB: I plan to go ‘cold turkey’ and totally step away for at least six months from Partnership activities. I can’t wait to not have to set an alarm clock anymore—and I’m thrilled about the idea of drinking a cup of coffee before it gets cold! 

    Posted May 8, 2023

  • 1 May 2023 7:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Becoming new Partnership Executive Director a true "joy" for Senkevitch 

    By Steve Dwyer 

    Calling it “an easy and natural fit,” Laura Senkevitch took over as Executive Director of the New York City Brownfield Partnership, effective May 1. 

    In succeeding retiring executive Susan Boyle, Senkevitch is armed with a laser-sharp focus that is sure to impact Partnership goals and objectives in 2023 and beyond. In taking over the post, Senkevitch relinquishes her board seat as Vice President to George Duke. 

    Senkevitch is also armed with a double-edged advantage of comprehensively grasping the dynamics underpinning NYC and state-wide brownfields since joining the Partnership more than a decade ago. In addition, she boasts a significant amount of experience within the not-for-profit sector, having held leadership roles in both fundraising and program development at organizations such as, currently, Human Rights First and the Fortune Society. 

    Holding a Master of Science degree from Pratt Institute in environmental systems management, Senkevitch brings 15 years of experience to the table anchored in donor cultivation, program development, strategic partnership management, and non-profit board governance.

    She is eager to work in lock step with the Partnership leadership team of President Ezgi Karayel, Vice President Duke, Treasurer Michele Rogers and Secretary Mari Cate Conlon. 

    Stepping aside from the board post was not a relatively hard decision for Senkevitch because, over six-plus years as a board member, she believes she’s helped wring effective results from that seat. Walking into the new role actually serves as her “new destiny,” she says. “I love the Partnership, and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve been affiliated with the organization for more than a decade, and was eventually appointed a board member in 2016. The bottom line is that I know and understand the non-profit sector very well. This is a meaningful opportunity to me.”  

    Senkevitch spoke about several front- and back-burner priorities she’s most eager to tackle within the brownfield redevelopment realm as this new organizational chapter commences, including: 

    Legislation. Chiefly, the continued funding of the State’s Brownfield tax credit program and New York City’s Voluntary Cleanup Programs, to ensure that formerly contaminated properties are appropriately remediated for new uses and with the protection of human and environmental health the top priority. “We need to keep finger to the pulse on the continued future and evolution of these key and essential programs. One solution to this is for those with a stake in the VCP and state tax credit programs to understand what is at stake: we need to cut through the legalese and articulate the key benefits of these programs—doing so by providing both Partnership members and even those on the outside looking in—perhaps would-be Partnership members—with easy and digestible content about both programs so they can fully grasp the opportunities in front of them,” she says. 

    Diversity & Outreach. Laura is a big proponent for the concept of promoting and creating training opportunities to open doors to anyone eager to break into and thrive in this work, including the next generation of brownfield practitioners. How do we do it best? Provide the most effective tools so they can better thrive in the brownfield sector.” Speaking about “outreach,” Laura says that it’s incumbent upon the membership to leverage their skills and knowledge more holistically. “That means taking more leadership positions within the confines of the Partnership, but also externally as they engage with other professionals. They key is to not be ‘siloed.’” 

    More on Training/Development/Professional Recruitment. “I have a soft spot for professional development and training. I got my chops in this area in 2012, with the Fortune Society overseeing the green job initiatives—that’s where my affiliation with the Partnership commenced. I’m eager to see the Partnership endorse, even sponsor, the concept of professional training and development curriculums geared to formerly incarcerated individuals, for example, as well as individuals from all educational backgrounds. The Partnership has already made inroads in this area, but it would be great to elevate and amplify that advocacy. 
    I also see it vital to recruit more experts, across disciplines such as developers, engineers, policy advocates, architects, and more—bring them into the brownfield fold. They may not have an affinity for our industry, but that’s the point—bring them in through better outreach, via workshops, social events, events. Many don’t realize the opportunities they have within this context.” 

    On any conflicting feelings about relinquishing her board seat. “Not at all. Since we have a game plan for succession planning, I realized that being on the board was not a ‘forever thing,’ so I was mentally prepared to step away from the board. My tenure traces to 2016 when 
    I became secretary, and eventually VP in 2021. I had a sustained board tenure of about seven years, so I guess you could say that I was willingly kicked out.”  

    How BABAs can acknowledge not only winners but non-winning projects. “I think it’s important to celebrate the impact all these projects have on the community—they’re not isolated incidents by any stretch, but the end results of these projects is that they foster and facilitate public health, quality of neighborhoods, and more. I think it behooves us to show and demonstrate how all BABA-nominated projects fit into the bigger picture—more than winning an award or not. It’s about the long-term impacts they deliver.” 

    Environmental justice. Community input and overall public-private transparency—building bridges not walls—all are touchstones to practicing EJ. Laura says that preventing residential displacement and anything that begets gentrification is Job 1. “This goes back to the fact we need to look at the bigger picture—the so-called 30,000-foot view.” 

    Continued growth, evolution of Abbey Duncan Scholarship program (for undergrad and grad students in the NYC region). Student-recipients know how valuable the financial and network opportunities can be for them to pursue careers in environmental science, geology, engineering. 
    “It’s not about making the Scholarship program ‘better’ so much as continuing on the path of growth. It’s about giving back and promoting the next generation. If we could get more capitalization to support the program, I would love to see it—to increase the scholarship sum to scholarship recipients and expand opportunities for the student-recipients. It’s all part of seeing the bigger picture.” 

    Industry events both in-person and remotely. “I’m so happy for regular and ongoing in-person events—there’s so much attendees can get out of them. Experimentation had to be done, obviously, during the pandemic. We found that professional development training done remotely allowed more people to access events as they were easier to organize. In certain cases, remote webinars are the way to go. But with in-person events the most compelling benefit is being able to mingle with like-minded professionals—all things you can’t accomplish on a Zoom. In person, I can now introduce other people to one another, link one professional to another. It binds them.” 

    On taking the ED baton from Sue. “While I don’t think I’ll need ‘training wheels’ for this position, it will nevertheless be bittersweet…because Sue is not there, and it will be at first hard to adjust to that. I think about all the ‘wrangling’ Sue has done over the years. Let’s put it this way: I will be essentially missing her in the room.”
    THE SENKEVITCH FILE: Prior to joining Human Rights First, Laura served as the Associate Vice President of Education and Employment Services at The Fortune Society, a human services and advocacy organization that holistically serves justice-involved individuals and their families, where she created, and raised funds for data-driven high-impact programming, including an EPA-funded course. 

    As a member of the New York City Brownfield Partnership for more than a decade, Laura has served on their board of directors since 2016. She has advised on annual awards ceremony, industry education programming, grant-giving initiatives, and scholarship fundraising activities. Laura holds a Master of Science degree in Urban Environmental Systems Management from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies from Pace University. 

    Posted May 1, 2023

  • 4 Apr 2023 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Deyi Hou et al, Nature 


    Widespread pollution from industrial activities has driven land degradation with detrimental human health effects, especially in urban areas. Remediation and redevelopment of the estimated 5 million brownfield sites globally is needed to support the sustainable transition and increase urban ecosystem services, but many traditional strategies are often environmentally harmful. In this Review, we outline sustainable remediation strategies for the clean-up of contaminated soil and groundwater at brownfield sites. Conventional remediation strategies, such as dig and haul, or pump and treat, ignore secondary environmental burdens and socioeconomic impacts; over their life cycle, some strategies are more detrimental than taking no action. Sustainable remediation technologies, such as sustainable immobilization, low-impact bioremediation, new forms of in-situ chemical treatment and innovative passive barriers, can substantially reduce the environmental footprint of remediation and maximize overall net benefits. Compared with traditional methods, they can typically reduce the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by ~50–80%. Integrating remediation with redevelopment through nature-based solutions and sustainable energy systems could further increase the socioeconomic benefit, while providing carbon sequestration or green energy. The long-term resilience of these systems still needs to be understood, and ethics and equality must be quantified, to ensure that these systems are robust and just.

    For the entire article, see

    Posted April 4, 2023

  • 4 Apr 2023 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A Miami real estate developer paid $89 million for the lot and plans to erect a 50 story affordable housing tower on the financial district site near the WTC–but first needs to clear the brownfield site of pollutants left behind by past commercial occupants. That work is just getting underway.

    KAY BONTEMPO, Our Town (Downtown New York City)

    A new 50-story, 400-unit affordable housing development is a step closer to reality now that the cleanup of a brownfield site has begun with plans to wrap it up before the end of the year.

    The contaminated brownfield site of the former Kasser Scrap Metal and Rector Cleaners is finally being cleaned up. The location at 111-121 Washington Street, (a.k.a. 8 Carlisle Street), is located two blocks north of the World Trade Center and comprises a 11,255-square-foot vacant lot (just over a quarter-acre.) The developer Carlisle New York Apartments, LLC, purchased the lot in 2021 for $89 million from the Ohebshalom family, which was involved in a bitter family feud pitting father against son that ultimately was resolved with the son buying out the father’s stake.

    The Miami-based developer plans to start construction on the quarter acre plot once the cleanup is completed, expected in seven to eight months.

    For the entire article, see


    Posted April 4, 2023

  • 15 Feb 2023 3:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A West Coast real estate developer bought the nearly quarter acre plot at the corner of E. 78th St. and First Ave. for $73.5 million late last year with plans to build a luxury condo complex but first the NYS Department of Environment Conservation said containments of groundwater and soil must be cleaned up and is now seeking public input on a proposed plan. 

    by Keith J. Kelly, Westside Spirit (NY)

    A San Francisco real estate developer bought the quarter acre lot at E. 78th St. and First Ave. for $73.5 million late last year with plans to erect a luxury condo apartment complex on the site that could stretch up to 35 stories high–but before any work can begin the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says soil and grondwater contaminants must be cleared first.

    Carmel Partners has big plans for the site. According to linecity, a blog which tracks real estate filings, the company has already filed plans with the building department for a 24 story, 209-foot-tall development that will total 195,299 square feet and include 182,020 square feet of residential space and of 13,279 square feet of commercial space. “The average size of an apartment, based on gross numbers, will be a very robust 1,936 square feet,” according to linecity, which said the developer is calling for 94 units.

    For the entire article, see


    Posted February 15, 2023

  • 14 Feb 2023 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Contact: Barbara Khan, (212) 637-3675, khan.barbara@epa.gov

    NEW YORK (Feb. 13, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $83.7 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants, like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), in drinking water in New York. This investment, which is allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program and will promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the availability of $2 billion.

    “Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural, or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are investing in America and providing unprecedented resources to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure while safeguarding people’s health and boosting local economies. These grants build on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals.”

    "This funding is part of the once-in-a lifetime investments we are making to transform infrastructure under the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “EPA is working with our state partners to deliver clean water to communities, protect public health, and advance environmental justice across New York State and the nation.”

    The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $5 billion over five years to help communities that are on the frontlines of PFAS contamination reduce PFAS in drinking water. EPA announced the funds for New York as part of an allotment of $2 billion to states and territories that can be used to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to conduct water quality testing.

    Senator Charles Schumer said, “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I fought to pass, communities across New York will finally have access to the funding they need to clean-up toxic PFAS pollution and ensure safe and clean drinking water. These federal funds will jumpstart critical projects and help communities big and small on the frontlines of PFAS contamination, all while creating good paying jobs to stimulating the local economy. I am proud to deliver over $83 million for New York to directly tack the issue of emerging contaminants and PFAS and I will keep pushing for speedy cleanups across New York: from Long Island to Newburgh and Niagara.” 

    “This is a historic investment that will help clean up some of the most dangerous and widespread contaminants in our drinking water,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I’m proud to have fought to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide this funding to small and disadvantaged communities across New York and I look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration to protect the environment and fight PFAS contamination.”

    EPA is also releasing the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation document. The implementation document provides states and communities with the information necessary to use this funding to address local water quality and public health challenges. These grants will enable communities to improve local water infrastructure and reduce emerging contaminants in drinking water by implementing solutions such as installing necessary treatment solutions.

    Today’s actions represent a significant milestone within the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitments to combat PFAS pollution and safeguard drinking water, and specifically EPA’s October 2021 PFAS Strategic Roadmap. Under the Roadmap, EPA is working across the agency to protect the public from the health impacts of PFAS. EPA has taken a number of actions to deliver progress on PFAS including: 

    In addition to this new grant, EPA is also working to propose a PFAS NPDWR in the coming weeks. The draft proposed rule is currently undergoing interagency review and EPA will issue the proposed rule for public comment when it clears the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The agency anticipates finalizing the rule by the end of 2023. Together, with today’s announcement, these actions highlight EPA’s commitments outlined in the PFAS Strategic Roadmap to protect public health and the environment from the impacts of PFAS.  They also illustrate the benefits of investing in water—protecting public health and the environment, addressing key challenges facing communities, and creating jobs.

    To learn more about EPA’s roadmap laying out a whole-of-agency approach to addressing PFAS, visit EPA’s PFAS web page.

    To learn more about New York’s PFAS efforts, visit its PFAS web site.

    Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

    Posted February 14, 2023

  • 7 Feb 2023 10:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New members have lofty goals to continue helping organization build and grow 

    By Steve Dwyer 

    The new Partnership Board members all have unique skills, ones sure to breath additional adrenalin into what’s already a build-and-growth-oriented organization with an eye on the future.

    As new board members take their seat in 2023, the continually evolving vison to advocate for best-practices in brownfield redevelopment across New York City’s urban infill is sure to become more resounding. 

    The Partnership executive board of directors—starting with President Ezgi Karayel, Vice President George Duke, Treasurer Michele Rogers and Secretary Mari Cate Conlon—is excited to work with the new board members. 

    The newly minted board members are all poised to add firepower to the organization’s progressive-driven tapestry. Three of the four members recently shared their front-burner goals for 2023, challenges they’re most concerned about, and how they believe they’ll complement the skill sets of the entire board. 


    From left to right - Elizabeth Burgess, Lisa Bloodgood, Erik Draijer and Joel Rogers

    Not available to shed light for this posting was newly minted board member Elizabeth Burgess, PE, Project Engineer at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services and holding a Master of Engineering/Systems Engineering form Cornell University. (We plan to catch up with Elizabeth in a subsequent blog post.) 

    Three board appointees recently chimed in about their goals: Lisa Bloodgood, Joel Rogers and Erik Draijer.

    Bloodgood has navigated enormous changes in rezoning, land use and development. Bloodgood, an Adjunct Lecturer at Brooklyn College and former interim Executive Director for North Brooklyn Neighbors (formerly NAG), says she’s “thrilled to join the NYCBP board of directors,” and fully understands “how critical the State’s Brownfield and the City’s Voluntary Cleanup Programs can be to ensure that formerly contaminated properties are appropriately remediated for new uses and with the protection of human and environmental health as a top priority.” 

    Draijer, Project Manager for PVE Engineering LLC, New York, and a member of the BABA selection committee, is eager to “kickstart in-person events.” About the BABA’s, Erik says fellow committee members Victoria Whelan and Mari Cate Conlon have “passed the torch to me on event planning, and I’m eager to enhance the event—to show off  to those involved and also those on the outside what the Partnership organization does so well.”  

    Rogers, who was persistent in bringing the Redevelopment Roundtable to the NYCBP, says “running and growing my company [President of Factor Group Inc.] is a full-time job. Most of the work we do is tied in some way to brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. I’m excited about stepping into a board-member role and the time I carve out for that will be focused on educating myself, my staff and the industry on brownfield redevelopment issues, and helping to advance meaningful advocacy goals of the Partnership.”

    Brings New Perspective, Clear Voice

    Bloodgood intimates that she “hopes my experience in community work brings a new perspective and a clear voice to the board amplifying the community experience, questions and needs throughout these processes,” she comments. 

    Much of the work of the brownfield community “is unknown to most residents. In the coming year I would like to support efforts to proactively and effectively share information between the board and a broad spectrum of New Yorkers.” 

    “I am also eager to join with other board members in supporting the Abbey Duncan Scholarships for undergrad and grad students in the NYC region. I was a recipient as an undergrad and know firsthand how valuable the financial and network opportunities can be to students pursuing careers in environmental science, geology, engineering and the like.” 

    Bloodgood also is eager to bring insight gained from her work on the Board “to my students at Brooklyn College where I teach courses in Urban Sustainability,” she says. 

    COVID Interrupted Plans 

    With PVE, Draijer had become the first project manager with the company to have a significant stake in growing its New York City network. “I continue to learn the industry, and the Partnership was a real easy way to enable that—learning from competitors and colleagues,” he says. “In 2019 I started to attend as many Partnership Roundtables as I could. I connected with Mary Cate [Conlon] and signed up to get involved across several committee levels. Then Covid hit and squashed those plans temporarily. I was able to resume involvement in later 2021 and into 2022.”

    When asked what stood out about last year’s BABA projects, Draijer says from “it’s clear that the global pandemic had an effect on local brownfield redevelopment. As the industry was able to progress through COVID’s impacts, it was clear that plenty of new opportunities were created in commercial real estate. Reviewing the nominations and awarding these projects is yet another tool for our industry and community to understand if and how the pandemic has changed the market,” comments Draijer. 

    He emphasized that one aspect that hasn’t changed is the desire on the part of everyone involved in these projects “to produce a positive impact for the community, economy and environment. It’s truly a pleasure to be involved and to experience that desire from fellow mentors, clients, competitors, and colleagues.” 

    Draijer says that more brownfield developers need to know about their eligibility for project funding across the spectrum of grants, loans and tax credits. Having a greater number of Partnership events, both in-person and remotely, can help developers get a grasp about what they’re eligible for—unbeknownst to them. 

    “It’s not always easy for them to see the benefits of the voluntary cleanup program [VCP]—many take a cautious approach. We want to spread the knowledge to developers who are not ‘in the know’ about how they can use the brownfield tax credit money and not view it as a ‘catch,’” Erik states.  

    Draijer notes that it has been “impressive to learn about projects that create state-of-the-art logistics centers and industrial assets from underutilized, contaminated land. Affordable housing, along with green space, has been a focus since I became involved. There may have been an increase in affordable housing projects [in 2022] as NYC’s 421-a tax exemption program expired [June 2022]. We could see the carry-over through 2024 as these projects continue towards completion, but it’ll be interesting to see if and how it changes the industry moving forward.”

    Grasp All Moving Parts 

    Rogers says this time “is arguably one of the most dynamic periods in brownfield redevelopment history, as key environmental and brownfield regulations and guidance are in the process of being revised—and not just in New York.”

    Joel says that changes range from technical implementation, to new regulations around emerging contaminants, to funding and tax credits, to renewal and authorization of brownfield related laws. “The challenge is to understand the implications of all the individual moving parts and how they affect the overall success of brownfield policies in New York City and beyond, and then to use our platform and advocacy to push for meaningful change where it is needed,” he says. 

    Speaking about working with new and existing NYCBP board members—how they complement his skills from a professional standpoint—Rogers states that he appreciates the Partnership’s diverse group of experts with backgrounds in environmental consulting, engineering, law, property development, tax credits, affordable housing, regulatory agency work, and public policy.

    “No matter what our individual areas of focus, brownfields issues tend to dovetail across other areas, and you need that deep bench of experience to holistically understand and address challenges as brownfields policy and implementation evolves,” he says. “I started in the mid-90s as an environmental engineer, and refocused later in my career on brownfield redevelopment, environmental waste management and beneficial reuse of regulated soils. Interestingly that often involves managing removal of contaminated waste streams from brownfield cleanup sites, and beneficially reusing them on former industrial properties undergoing brownfield redevelopment.  I hope to continue to contribute niche, multi-state, real world experience to the team.” 

    Joining NYCBP around a decade ago, Joel suggested the Partnership look at hosting a regular roundtable-style event where expert presenters could share and discuss ideas, news and regulatory changes with membership of industry professionals. 

    “It wasn’t a novel concept: CIANJ’s  Environmental Business Council  invented the model  in New Jersey. But it wasn’t being done anywhere in New York, and it seemed like a great idea.  We let the EBC know that we were going to borrow from its success and invited them to the first NYC Roundtable”

    That’s when NYCBP Executive Director Sue Boyle, who never forgot about the idea, “nudged me over the years until we finally put together the three time a year NYCBP Redevelopment Roundtable series. As the Solid & Hazardous Waste Committee co-chair and presenter, I have stayed involved with that since inception and won over many skeptics. It's a great event.”

    Posted February 7, 2023

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software