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  • 23 May 2022 9:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BROWNFIELD ZONE: Funds to help remediate former Emkay plant

    By Matt Surtel, Batavia Daily News (NY)

    A total of $500,000 in federal funding has been awarded to help clean up a brownfield site in the village.

    The brownfield clean-up grant was awarded to WCBC North LLC, which is managed by the Wyoming County Business Center. The site was most recently the former Emkay Dairy Processing plant.

    “On behalf of the community, I am very grateful the WCBC North, LLC, has been awarded an EPA Brownfield Cleanup grant of $500,000 to assist with the mitigation of the former Emkay dairy processing facility in the Village of Arcade,” said Manager James Pierce of the WCBC North LLC in a news release. “This abandoned and contaminated property has been a public health hazard for over 20 years, and the grant funding is a critical first-step in cleaning up and developing a clear path for future site development.”

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.thedailynewsonline.com/top_story/brownfield-site-500-000-federal-grant-will-help-clean-up-at-former-emkay-site-in/article_98286acd-3bb4-5512-848d-ab848580bd91.html

    Posted May 23, 2022

  • 23 May 2022 9:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is transforming communities across NJ and especially in Camden. That is the message delivered today by EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia, Senator Cory Booker, Congressmember Donald Norcross, Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen and New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette in Elijah Perry Park in Camden. EPA will be awarding four grants totaling $6.5 million in Brownfields funding for communities across New Jersey. The largest of these grants—$3.5 million—will be awarded to the Camden Redevelopment Agency and will be loaned and granted for site cleanups, including the Elijah Perry Park. There are many communities in Camden with environmental justice concerns that experience a high concentration of vacant, contaminated and underutilized areas throughout the City of Camden.

    These grants are part of the larger $254.5 million in Brownfields Grants to 265 communities across the nation. The grants are supported by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties. 

    “With today’s announcement, we’re turning blight into might for communities across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA’s Brownfields Program breathes new life into communities by helping to turn contaminated and potentially dangerous sites into productive economic contributors. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are significantly ramping up our investments in communities, with the bulk of our funding going to places that have been overburdened and underserved for far too long.”

    "Camden has a proven track record in transforming communities through its brownfields program, which serves as a model for other communities," said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. "The Brownfields program is a powerful tool made only more potent thanks to President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to help transform communities by promoting equitable environmental health, economic growth, and job creation across the country."

    Brownfield projects can range from cleaning up buildings with asbestos or lead contamination, to assessing and cleaning up abandoned properties that once managed dangerous chemicals. Once cleaned up, former brownfield properties can be redeveloped into productive uses such as grocery stores, affordable housing, health centers, museums, parks, and solar farms.

    The Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of today’s announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.

    EPA’s Brownfields grants and other technical assistance programs like the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative are also helping to build the clean energy economy. Today’s announcement includes a former coal mine in Greene County, Pennsylvania, that will become a 10-megawatt solar farm, and a former dump site in the Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana that will be converted to a solar farm, saving local residents an estimated $2.8 million in energy costs over 25 years, among many others.

    This announcement includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with more than $75 million from Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations. The national list of the applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2022-brownfields-assessment-rlf-cleanup-arc-grants-and-rlf.

    Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example:

    • To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment and more than 9,500 properties have been made ready for reuse.
    • Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.43 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
    • In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% as a result of cleanup activities.
    • Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfields sites.

    Representative Donald Norcross said:

    “I helped pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve the quality of life for residents in South Jersey. Cleaning up old commercial and industrial sites to protect our neighborhoods from hazardous waste and polluted environments has been a longtime priority for me. I’m proud to have supported this funding and will continue to fight in Congress for policies that protect our environment and reduce the health burdens that Brownfield sites place on our communities

    “Our path toward continued, equitable economic growth is paved by the steps we take today to clean up and cultivate a healthy, safe environment,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “This funding will allow New Jersey to transform brownfields into vibrant, productive assets, especially in under-resourced communities. Investments in the remediation of these sites are investments in future opportunities for all New Jersey residents and businesses.”

    “Economic development and environmental protection go hand-in-hand, and in New Jersey, EPA’s robust brownfields cleanup incentives serve as a vital resource for revitalizing vacant properties,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “This funding will be especially critical in Camden, which has been undergoing a significant transformation by cleaning up brownfield sites, combatting illegal dumping and turning vacant properties into community assets, such as the Kroc Community Center. For too long, financial barriers have prevented entities from developing contaminated sites due to the limited funding available for site assessments, planning, and cleanup. Today’s funding announcement will allow the DEP and the EDA to increase current programmatic efforts to remediate and redevelop contaminated sites, sparking community-wide economic revitalization and furthering Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy and environment.

    Senator Cory Booker said: “During my time as Mayor and as Senator, I have seen firsthand how the Brownfields program revitalizes communities. I am proud that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is delivering significant investment in restoring brownfield sites across New Jersey. These federal dollars will protect the health and well-being of communities and promote unrealized economic opportunity.”

    Senator Bob Menendez said: “I have long championed critical federal programs like Brownfields and Superfund that help clean up contaminated waste sites, and I’m proud to have helped secure this funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Today’s announcement will help communities across the state not only protect the environment and improve public health, but also spur new growth and economic opportunity for residents. I thank the Biden Administration for their continued support for our families and their steadfast commitment to environmental justice for underserved communities and communities of color that too often shoulder the burden of legacy pollution.”

    Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen said: “I commend President Biden’s Administration and our congressional delegation of Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Cory Booker, and Congressman Donald Norcross for their efforts to ensure Camden receives this critical allocation.  These contaminated sites are tremendous environmental challenges, public health risks, and problematic for future growth. The $3.5 million Brownfields Revolving Loan funding will help to provide a solution to these longtime nuisance properties.  The US Environmental Protection Agency have been an outstanding partner, and this is yet another example of their pledge to our City. This program is a step in the right direction as we improve the quality of life throughout Camden.”

    Camden City Council President Angel Fuentes said: “This is great news for Camden and our residents. Environmentally challenged communities like Camden have been viewed as dumping ground for far too long. This funding will go a long way to change that mindset and clean up our City. These otherwise useless sites can now be transformed into community assists and catalysts for new development opportunities.”

    Camden Redevelopment Agency Board Chairperson Ian Leonard said: “The Camden Redevelopment Agency (“CRA”) is pleased to receive a $3.5 million in supplemental Brownfield Revolving Loan Funds awarded by the EPA. EPA has long been such a staunch supporter of the City of Camden, the CRA, and its strategic partners’ collective efforts to uplift and improve the quality of life for Camden residents.  As an industrial legacy city, development in Camden almost always involves addressing contaminated property. The ability to effectuate positive change in redeveloping our city with partners like the EPA and the DEP at the state and federal level is key to achieving those environmental justice changes in Camden that we all envision.” 

    Camden Redevelopment Agency Interim Executive Director Olivette Simpson said: “The Camden Redevelopment Agency and the City of Camden are excited to have the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) select us for an award of $3.5 million in additional Brownfields Revolving Loan funding (RLF). For several decades, EPA has been a committed partner to the City and a true champion for the residents of Camden. EPA’s support has helped the CRA and the City to make substantial investments within our residential neighborhoods that have suffered the injustices associated with living among high concentrations of vacant, contaminated and underutilized property. These investments have allowed for the cleanup of new and existing recreation and park spaces and former abandoned factories where new housing will be constructed. With the supplemental EPA RLF funding, we are able to continue this important work to remediate former industrial and illegal dumping sites for productive and equitable reuse.”

    “Supporting communities as they work to clean up, revitalize, and redevelop contaminated properties is critical for stimulating economic growth and building a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has made great strides to ensure the equitable environmental and economic well-being of every New Jersey resident, regardless of zip-code. Funding from the EPA Brownfields Community-wide Assessment Grant will allow the NJEDA to provide greater support for communities looking to remediate vacant and underutilized properties, therefore prioritizing the environmental, social, and economic needs of New Jersey’s neighborhoods and distressed communities.”

    Additional Background

    A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Redevelopment made possible through the program includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.   

    The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 16-19, 2022, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Conference registration is open at www.brownfields2022.org.

    For more on Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

    For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

    Posted May 23, 2022

  • 05 May 2022 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NYCBP Member, Larry Schnapf, weighs in on this recent decision by the EPA.

    As we prediced, EPA received numerous negative comments to its Direct Final Rule that would have recognized that the new ASTM E1527-21 phase 1 standard may be used to comply with the All Appropriate Inquires (AAI) rule for asserting certain landowner liability defenses and qualify for brownfield grants.

    All of the comments criticized EPA’s plan to allow the obsolete E1527-13 to continue to be used to comply with AAI.  The commenters uniformly objected to EPA’s approach because they believed it would cause confusion in the marketplace and create a loophole that would allow substandard phase 1 providers to undercut the market. None of the comments posted on the EPA website for the rulemaking supported this dual approach.  I submitted negative comments which can be read 

    Read more...

    Posted May 5, 2022
  • 21 Apr 2022 2:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Based on our participation in the BCP Consortium, BCONE recently commented on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Proposed Part 375 Revisions. Here is an excerpt with a link to the entire statement.

    The Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (“BCONE”) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve as a primary resource for information on brownfields and brownfields redevelopment in the Northeast region of the United States, from Maine to Maryland; advance public awareness and understanding of benefits, opportunities, and best practices of brownfield redevelopment; and foster collaborative relationships among brownfield developers, property owners, government agencies, and community groups. Its membership includes the leading environmental, scientific and engineering practitioners, governmental agencies and community groups who regularly work on remedial investigation, remediation, and redevelopment projects throughout the Northeast. BCONE is particularly strong in the metropolitan NY region of NYS, NJ, CT, and PA. Click here to read the entire document.

    Posted April 21, 2022

  • 31 Mar 2022 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Environmental Protection Agency published its final Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2026 EPA Strategic Plan to accompany EPA's FY 2023 President’s Budget. The Strategic Plan provides a roadmap to achieve EPA’s and the Biden-Harris Administration’s environmental priorities over the next four years.

    This Strategic Plan furthers the agency's commitment to protecting human health and the environment for all people, with an emphasis on historically overburdened and underserved communities. For the first time, EPA’s final Plan includes a strategic goal focused exclusively on addressing climate change, as well as an unprecedented strategic goal to advance environmental justice and civil rights. At the foundation of the Plan is a renewed commitment to the three principles articulated by EPA’s first Administrator, William Ruckelshaus — follow the science, follow the law, and be transparent – while adding an additional fourth principle: advance justice and equity

    “This final strategic plan is the result of tireless work across EPA to develop a comprehensive strategy that delivers on our mission to protect all people from pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I’m confident that our plan meets the moment. Our solutions are designed to confront the challenges in front of us, where achieving justice and equity are central to addressing climate change and environmental protection.” 

    The Strategic Plan outlines seven goals and four cross-agency strategies. The strategies articulate essential ways of working to accomplish EPA’s goals and mission outcomes. The Plan also includes a suite of measures that will help the Agency monitor progress and ensure accountability for achieving its priorities to protect human health and the environment for all Americans.

    More information on EPA’s Strategic Plans can be found at: Strategic Plan

    Posted March 31, 2022

  • 28 Mar 2022 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Letter to Governor Governor Hochul, Speaker Heastie, and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins from The Building & Realty Institute of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region, Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast, The Business Council of Westchester, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Local Development Corporation of East New York, Long Island Builders Institute, The New York Building Congress, New York City Brownfield Partnership, New York League of Conservation Voters, Real Estate Board of New York, SoBro, Center for Creative Land Recycling, USGBC Long Island, New York State Association for Affordable Housing, Sullivan County Partnership, Upstate United.

    We want to thank you for your commitment to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program (BOA) and urge the reauthorization of the BCP and additional improvements to these programs in the FY ’23 budget that you are in the process of finalizing.

    The BCP is working in New York. Since its inception, over 502 projects have been completed statewide, with 50% of the projects in economically distressed En-Zones and many in Environmental Justice and Brownfield Opportunity Areas. The program has created over 6,000 affordable housing units and $17.61 billion in private investments, cleaned up contaminated sites which may not otherwise have been remediated, and is increasing public health benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate and air quality, which furthers environmental justice goals to promote healthier communities.

    Read more...

    Posted March 28, 2022

  • 28 Mar 2022 2:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Zack Fink, Spectrum News 1 NY

    Developers are looking to build an eight-story mixed use development on a site in Brooklyn that will contain 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 108 units of affordable housing.

    But first, it must undergo a massive remediation due to previous contamination from dry cleaning chemicals and oil from an auto body shop that once stood here. The developers received tax breaks for that cleanup through the state’s Brownfields Cleanup Program.

    Read more...

    Posted March 28, 2022

  • 24 Mar 2022 1:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The article was published in The Practical Real Estate Lawyer with an acknowledgement to Chemmie Sokolic (The Falcon Real Estate Group) for his assistance on the industry issues.

    According to Schnapf, "In mid-November, ASTM International (ASTM) published the updated version of its “Standard Practice for Environmental Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” (E1527-21). The new standard replaces the 2013 version (E1527-13), which ASTM now considers a “historical standard.” However, E1527-13 may continue to be used until EPA formally recognizes the latest version." Click here to read the article in its entirety.

  • 22 Mar 2022 2:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Larry Schnapf

    In our prior blog, we announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) would publish a proposed rule and direct final rule proposing to amend and amending the All Appropriate Inquiries rule (“AAI”)  to reference the revised ASTM E1527-21 ‘‘Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process’’ (“E1527-21”) and allowing it to be used to satisfy the AAI requirements.

    Read more...

    Posted March 22, 2022

  • 18 Mar 2022 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Article entitled “Restoring Nature While Building” by Patrick Sisson appeared in the Square Feet column on in the Commercial Real Estate page of the March 16, 2022 New York Times.

    This caught our eye: “People don’t have to use the word ‘sustainability” anymore because it’s expected, said Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of the Cultural Landscapes Foundation, and education and advocacy group.  “People expect a level of performance from their landscapes. There is a power of place there waiting to be unlocked.”

    This information appealed to us because we have been looking for data on the positive financial impacts of green space on developments.   “A series of trends have made these projects more valuable, said Matt Norris, director of the Building Healthy Places Initiative at the Urban Land Institute.  For residents, the health benefits of outdoor access are more apparent, especially in the pandemic.  For developers, offices and homes next to parks can accrue up to 20 percent more value, and added green space can help projects earn community support and even unlock zoning incentives.”

    Posted March 18, 2022

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