2008 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 17:09:45 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] Watchdog applauds New York law
News from Environmental Advocates of New York
June 25, 2008

Environmental Watchdog Applauds Fiscal Fix For Brownfield Cleanup Tax Credits

NYS Governor & Legislature Reform Brownfield Cleanup Program to Stop Budget Hemorrhaging

ALBANY, NY (06/25/2008; 1004)(readMedia)-- Environmental Advocates of New York applauded the announcement by Governor David Paterson and legislative leaders to reform New York's troubled Brownfield Cleanup Program. The legislation, which was passed by both houses yesterday, will increase tax incentives for site cleanup to up to half of cleanup costs and limit tax credits for site redevelopment. The law also provides a series of incentives to developers to clean-up sites to higher standards, as well as additional tax incentives for redevelopments that are consistent with the Brownfield Opportunity Area program.

"Thanks to the leadership of Governor Paterson and the New York State Legislature, the Brownfield Cleanup Program's tax credits will act as an incentive for the cleanup of all polluted sites and not break the bank," said Robert Moore, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York. "New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program will now better serve those communities most in need of the economic shot in the arm provided by redevelopment, as intended."

Hailed as a landmark initiative by environmental groups when it was introduced in 2003, the Brownfield Cleanup Program has been the subject of criticism regarding the overly generous tax credits doled out to developers in communities that do not need an added incentive to attract development. And according to a recent report released by the State Comptroller's Office, if the state does not fix the program, New York will need to pay out more than $3 billion for the cleanup of the 200 sites in the program.

The new law limits redevelopment tax credits for non-manufacturing projects to $35 million or three times the cost of site cleanup, whichever is less; tax credits for manufacturing projects will be capped at $45 million, or six times the cost of site cleanup, whichever is less.

The Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program is one of the most innovative components of the 2003 law and was designed to incentivize redevelopment in urban and lower-income communities. The law passed yesterday will provide an additional two percent tax incentive for projects redeveloped consistent with a BOA plan. The law also requires detailed reporting on the amount of tax credits claimed by developers, which should serve to better inform the public about the program's fiscal implications.

However, the new law fails to amend the definition of a brownfield site to clarify that historic fill sites would be eligible for the program. Sites contaminated by off-site sources or containing historic fill have been improperly excluded from the program. The reforms should stimulate cleanup and redevelopment of polluted sites across the state without providing windfalls for developers in certain communities.


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(c)(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, go to


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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