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New York Court of Appeals Broadens Eligibility for State Brownfields Program

February 24, 2010

By David J. Freeman and Jesse Hiney

On February 18, 2010, the New York State Court of Appeals handed down its long-awaited decision in Lighthouse Pointe Property Associates LLC v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The unanimous decision rejects both DECs denials of two sites applications for admission into the states Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and the reasoning used by the agency to justify its actions. The Courts holding calls into question the way DEC has run the BCP practically from its inception and, as such, has significant implications for other brownfield sites in New York State and for the future of the states Brownfield Cleanup Program.