2008 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 07:37:43 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] Environmental Advocates reviews Spitzer's plan
News from Environmental Advocates of New York
January 22, 2007

Gov. Spitzer's Budget Calls For Brownfield Cleanup Reform & Power For 
Jobs Fix, DEC Staff Levels Hold Steady

New York's Environmental Watchdog Encouraged by First Look at Gov's Budget

ALBANY, NY (01/22/2008; 1614)(readMedia)-- In his 2008 Budget Address, 
New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer called for much-needed reforms to 
the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program and a "green" fix for the Power 
for Jobs Program. The Governor's budget proposal also adds four new 
staffers to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

These announcements were welcomed by Environmental Advocates of New 
York, although the small increase in DEC's staffing could slow the 
agency's rebuilding efforts.

Brownfield Cleanup Program Reform

Governor Spitzer's proposal to reform the state's Brownfield Cleanup 
Program is intended to keep overly generous tax credits under control 
and focus available tax credits on New York's neediest sites. Newly 
proposed financial incentives are designed to reward development that is 
consistent with community-based plans, includes green buildings, or is 
located in economically distressed areas. The Governor's proposal would 
also de-link tax credit incentives from some sites and give the state's 
environmental agency oversight, ensuring faster review of applications 
to the Brownfield Cleanup Program.

"Environmental Advocates of New York applauds Governor's Spitzer's call 
to fix the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program," said Robert Moore, 
Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York. "In some cases, 
the state is wasting desperately needed revenue because tax credits in 
the hundreds of millions of dollars are going to sites that, because of 
location and value, would likely be cleaned up without this added 
incentive. We need to fix the Brownfield Cleanup Program in a way that 
results in more sites being cleaned up to higher standards."

Power for Jobs

New York State's Power for Jobs program was designed to provide low-cost 
electricity to select businesses in exchange for job creation and 
retention. However, the program has been criticized for not stimulating 
job growth. At the same time, the low cost of state-subsidized power 
leaves little incentive for participants to invest in energy efficiency. 
The Governor is proposing reforms to help these companies use less power 
while still holding down operating costs.

"Incorporating energy efficiency in New York's Power for Jobs Program is 
a long-overdue reform, and something that Environmental Advocates of New 
York supports whole-heartedly," said Moore.

Environmental Agency Staffing

Environmental Advocates of New York is encouraged that the state's 
primary environmental agency, the Department of Environmental 
Conservation, will not see its staff reduced this year. The agency will 
see a slight increase in staff, with four new positions. Overall, the 
DEC is still woefully understaffed, following the loss of 800 
scientists, engineers and enforcement officials under the Pataki 

"Rebuilding New York's Department of Environmental Conservation needs to 
continue. However, given the budget situation in New York, staffing 
numbers could have turned out far worse for the agency," said Moore.

Bigger Better Bottle Bill

The Governor also called to expand New York's most successful recycling 
program by updating the state's bottle deposit law to match the drinking 
habits of New Yorkers and earmarking unclaimed nickel deposits for the 
Environmental Protection Fund. An updated Bottle Bill would add 5-cent 
deposits to plastic bottles for beverages such as sports drinks, iced 
tea and water, among others. The Division of Budget estimates that the 
increase in unclaimed bottle deposits generated by such an expansion 
would generate as much as $100 million in annual revenue once fully 

The Governor's bottle bill budget proposal is similar to what was 
included in his 2007 proposed budget, which was supported by the State 
Assembly opposed by Senate Majority Leader Bruno and the Senate 
Majority. Over 600 groups and local governments across New York have 
called on the State Legislature to pass the Bigger Better Bottle Bill.


Environmental Advocates of New York is the state's government watchdog, 
holding lawmakers and agencies accountable for implementing policy that 
protects natural resources and safeguards public health. Environmental 
Advocates works alone and in coalitions, and has more than 7,000 
individual and 130 organizational members. The 501©(3) is also the New 
York affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. For more information 
call 518.462.5526 or visit www.eany.org.

For the original press release, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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