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City Brownfields Program Aims To Accelerate Site Cleanup

November 22, 2010

By Mark P. McIntyre, David J. Freeman and Jesse Hiney

On August 5, 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg inaugurated the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program (NYCBCP or Program). The first municipally-run brownfield cleanup program in the nation, its goal is to jump-start the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites in the city through a combination of

• expedited approvals, using standardized forms and remedies;

• grants and loans for various aspects of the investigatory and cleanup process;

• a Notice of Completion and liability release from the city at the conclusion of the cleanup process; and

• one-stop shop coordination of remedial activities through the newly-created Mayors Office of Environmental Remediation (OER).

This article evaluates the scope of the brownfield problem in New York City; discusses the reasons for the development of a municipal program to supplement New York States Brownfield Cleanup Program (State BCP); and outlines the most significant components of the Program.