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Office of Environmental Remediation

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009. Charter § 15(e)(6) authorizes its Director to promote community participation in the remediation and redevelopment of brownfields and § 15(e)(8) authorizes the Director to facilitate interactions among City agencies, community based organizations, developers, and environmental experts.  Charter § 15(e)(14) authorizes the Director to take such other actions as may be necessary to facilitate the remediation of brownfields, while § 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules to implement the Office’s programs.  

Beginning in 2013, OER created the Clean Soil Bank to recover a valuable material --   clean soil -- from deep excavations at private construction sites. Rather than having it shipped to New Jersey for disposal, such soil is re-directed to other New York City construction sites that need clean backfill. Under this Clean Soil Bank program, the soil is moved from generator to receiving site at no cost, except for the cost of trucking, thus creating significant savings for generators of such soil and receiving sites alike. By way of further background, in a typical Clean Soil Bank transfer the generating site picks up the cost of transporting clean soil to an in-City receiving site. As a result, the generator saves most of the cost of trucking and out-of-state disposal of the clean soil, and the receiving site gets clean soil at no cost.

 In the past several years, the Clean Soil Bank has grown substantially:  more than 90 transfers involving more than 430,000 tons of clean soil have been made, keeping the soil in New York City and delivering it to private and public construction projects. 

OER will now expand the Clean Soil Bank in two ways. First, the Office will promote the exchange of other materials, including compost, asphalt millings, mulch, wood chips, concrete aggregate and topsoil, much of which is generated by City agencies, which otherwise would pay to dispose of the materials. Second, the Office will open the Clean Soil Bank to larger private construction projects that are not in an OER remedial program.  

 OER therefore is amending the City’s environmental remediation rules as follows: 

1.  Subchapter 3 of Chapter 14 of Title 43 of the Rules of the City of New York is amended to reflect the current name of the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (§43-1428).    

2.  Subchapter 4 of Chapter 14 of Title 43 of the Rules of the City of New York is amended to revise its title, and to expand the New York City Clean Soil Bank program to promote the exchange of an expanded list of materials including compost, asphalt millings, mulch, wood chips, concrete aggregate, and topsoil (§43-1440, §43-1441). Adding more materials to the Clean Soil Bank will bring the benefits of an expanded materials exchange to a greater number of private and public parties.

3.  Several definitions are amended by the rule:  

●  The definition of “eligible material” in §43-1441 is revised to reflect the expanded list of materials eligible for exchange through the Clean Soil Bank and Other Materials Exchanges program. The amendments would also allow properties that receive materials to use them for beneficial uses beyond backfill, such as using the soil to create shoreline berms to protect against flooding.    

●  The definition of “eligible properties” for the Clean Soil Bank and Other Materials Exchanges program is revised to distinguish between City-owned, financed, subsidized, or supported properties and properties not owned, financed, subsidized, or supported by the City (§43-1442).  By making this distinction, OER hopes to make it easier for property owners working with the City to be a part of the materials exchange program.  

● The definition of “generating properties” is expanded to include City-operated or City-financed materials storage or processing facilities (§43-1442). This change is intended to allow City facilities and stockpiles such as the woodchip stockpile operated by the Parks Department in Queens, to generate materials that can be used at other public or private construction sites.   

4.  The rules governing the operation of the exchanges are amended to exempt City-operated facilities from the requirement to submit a soil or other materials availability form to the Office (§43-1443). This section is also amended to expand OER’s ability to negotiate the terms of exchange for materials on behalf of City agencies if the agencies so desire (§43-1443 (d)).  These changes have been made to encourage City agencies to consider participation in the Clean Soil Bank and other materials exchanges. 

This § 1443(d) text was revised after the hearing to clarify that OER would participate in negotiation of a material exchange on an agency’s behalf only if the agency requested OER’s assistance. 

5. Projects seeking New York City Green Property Certification are no longer be required to make an application to OER to be considered for Green Property Certification. This change will make it easier for sites outside of the City Voluntary Cleanup Program and the State Brownfield Program to seek Green Property Certification (§43-1431).

6.  The Office is waiving the $1,000 enrollment fee that parties must pay to enroll sites in the Voluntary Cleanup Program for City capital construction projects (§43-1405(3)(E)).

7. Finally, the Office is amending the City’s Brownfield Incentive Grant rules to allow developers of residential buildings where 100% of the units will be affordable units to be eligible for a $50,000 cleanup grant. Currently such projects are eligible for a $35,000 grant (§43-1422(c)(2)).

 
Effective Date: 
Thu, 05/03/2018

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009. Charter § 15(e)(6) authorizes its Director to promote community participation in the remediation and redevelopment of brownfields and § 15(e)(8) authorizes the Director to facilitate interactions among City agencies, community based organizations, developers, and environmental experts.  Charter § 15(e)(14) authorizes the Director to take such other actions as may be necessary to facilitate the remediation of brownfields, while § 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules to implement the Office’s programs.  

Beginning in 2013, OER created the Clean Soil Bank to recover a valuable material --   clean soil -- from deep excavations at private construction sites. Rather than having it shipped to New Jersey for disposal, such soil is re-directed to other New York City construction sites that need clean backfill. Under this Clean Soil Bank program, the soil is moved from generator to receiving site at no cost, except for the cost of trucking, thus creating significant savings for generators of such soil and receiving sites alike. In the past several years, the Clean Soil Bank has grown substantially:  more than 90 transfers involving more than 400,000 tons of clean soil have been made, keeping the soil in New York City and delivering it to private and public construction projects. 

OER now proposes to expand the Clean Soil Bank in two ways. First, the Office seeks to promote the exchange of other materials, including compost, asphalt millings, mulch, wood chips, concrete aggregate and topsoil, much of which is generated by City agencies, which otherwise would pay to dispose of the materials. Second, the Office seeks to open the Clean Soil Bank to larger private construction projects that are not in an OER remedial program.  

 OER therefore proposes to amend the City’s environmental remediation rules as follows: 

1.  Subchapter 3 of Chapter 14 of Title 43 of the Rules of the City of New York would be amended to reflect the current name of the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (§43-1428).    

2.  Subchapter 4 of Chapter 14 of Title 43 of the Rules of the City of New York would be amended to revise its title, and to expand the New York City Clean Soil Bank program to promote the exchange of an expanded list of materials including compost, asphalt millings, mulch, wood chips, concrete aggregate, and topsoil (§43-1440, §43-1441). Adding more materials to the Clean Soil Bank would bring the benefits of an expanded materials exchange to a greater number of private and public parties.

3.  Several definitions would be amended by the rule:  

●  The definition of “eligible material” in §43-1441 would be revised to reflect the expanded list of materials eligible for exchange through the Clean Soil Bank and Other Materials Exchanges program. The proposed amendments would also allow properties that receive materials to use them for beneficial uses beyond backfill, such as using the soil to create shoreline berms to protect against flooding.    

●  The definition of “eligible properties” for the Clean Soil Bank and Other Materials Exchanges program would be revised to distinguish between City-owned, financed, subsidized, or supported properties and properties not owned, financed, subsidized, or supported by the City (§43-1442).  By making this distinction, OER hopes to make it easier for property owners working with the City to be a part of the materials exchange program.  

●  The definition of “generating properties” would be expanded to include City-operated or City-financed materials storage or processing facilities (§43-1442). This change is intended to allow City facilities and stockpiles such as the woodchip stockpile operated by the Parks Department in Queens, to generate materials that can be used at other public or private construction sites.   

4.  The rules governing the operation of the exchanges would be amended to exempt City-operated facilities from the requirement to submit a soil or other materials availability form to the Office (§43-1443). This section would also be amended to expand OER’s ability to negotiate the terms of exchange for materials on behalf of City agencies (§43-1443 (d)).  These changes have been added to increase City agency participation in the Clean Soil Bank and other materials exchanges. 

5. Projects seeking New York City Green Property Certification would no longer be required to make an application to OER to be considered for Green Property Certification. This change would make it easier for sites outside of the City Voluntary Cleanup Program and the State Brownfield Program to seek Green Property Certification (§43-1431).

6.  The Office is proposing to waive the $1,000 enrollment fee that parties must pay to enroll sites in the Voluntary Cleanup Program for City capital construction projects (§43-1405(3)(E)).

7. Finally, the Office proposes to amend the City’s Brownfield Incentive Grant rules to allow developers of residential buildings where 100% of the units will be affordable units to be eligible for a $50,000 cleanup grant. Currently such projects are eligible for a $35,000 grant (§43-1422(c)(2)).

 
Subject: 

.

Location: 
Prospect Park Room
100 Gold Street 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038
Contact: 

No contact

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

DEP has revised the rule governing (E) Designations, which are placed on a tax lot or lots pursuant to Section 11-15 of the New York City Zoning Resolution (“ZR”) to provide notice that environmental requirements must be met before the property can be redeveloped. The amended rule accomplishes the following:

1) It authorizes OER to approve final cleanups without site management at properties that achieve a level of remediation that does not rely on institutional or engineering controls. Site management is not required in these instances because the activities that a site owner would otherwise monitor under a site management plan are already prohibited by the City. ZR Section 11-15 allows hazardous materials (E) Designations to be removed by the Department of City Planning upon receipt of a duly issued Notice from OER stating that no further testing, remediation or ongoing site management is required for hazardous materials contamination. OER has been issuing said Notices once a site achieves a complete site cleanup, also known as a Track 1 cleanup. For consistency of implementation, DEP has amended the (E) Designation rule to also allow for the removal of hazardous materials (E) Designations from properties that achieve a cleanup without reliance on engineering or institutional controls.

2) It allows for the removal of an (E) Designation for noise and/or air quality under specified circumstances. The amended rule allows for (E) Designations related to air quality and noise to be removed from a tax lot upon notice from OER that the environmental requirements for noise or air quality have been completed. The rule clarifies that where a development project with an (E) Designation for noise and/or air quality has been built out to its full development potential according to zoning, and installation reports demonstrate that the noise or air quality requirements have been fully completed, the (E) Designations for air quality and noise can be removed from a tax lot consistent with Section 11-15 (d)(1) of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York.

Effective Date: 
Wed, 09/13/2017

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, July 17, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

DEP is proposing to revise the rule governing (E) Designations, which are placed on a tax lot or lots pursuant to Section 11-15 of the New York City Zoning Resolution (“ZR”) to provide notice that environmental requirements must be met before the property can be redeveloped.  The proposed rule would: 

1) Authorize OER to approve final cleanups without site management at properties that achieve a level of remediation that does not rely on institutional or engineering controls. Site management is not required in these instances because the activities that a site owner would otherwise monitor under a site management plan are already prohibited by the City. ZR Section 11-15 allows hazardous materials (E) Designations to be removed by the Department of City Planning upon receipt of a duly issued Notice from OER stating that no further testing, remediation or ongoing site management is required for hazardous materials contamination. OER has been issuing said Notices once a site achieves a complete site cleanup, also known as a Track 1 cleanup. For consistency of implementation, DEP proposes to amend the (E) Designation rule to also allow for the removal of hazardous materials (E) Designations from properties that achieve a cleanup without reliance on engineering or institutional controls. 

2) Allow for the removal of an (E) Designation for noise and/or air quality under specified circumstances. The amended rule would allow for (E) Designations related to air quality and noise to be removed from a tax lot upon notice from OER that the environmental requirements for noise or air quality have been completed. The rule will clarify that where a development project with an (E) Designation for noise and/or air quality has been built out to its full development potential according to zoning, and installation reports demonstrate that the noise or air quality requirements have been fully completed, the (E) Designations for air quality and noise can be removed from a tax lot consistent with Section 11-15 (d)(1) of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York.

 
Subject: 

.

Location: 
Office of Environmental Remediation
100 Gold Street 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038
Contact: 

No contact

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

 

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009. Charter § 15(e)(5) authorizes its Director to administer financial incentives offered through various programs to promote the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields. Charter § 15(e)(15) authorizes the Director to administer the hazardous materials (E) designation program (described below) and § 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules to implement the Office’s programs.

 

OER is amending the City’s environmental remediation rules in the following ways: 

 

First, Subchapter 6 of Chapter 14 of Title 43 will be amended to revise its title and to establish, through a new section, both a process for applicants to request modification of noise attenuation requirements in a special mixed use district, and also a fee for the administrative costs of reviewing these requests (§ 43-1461).

 

Second, the rules relating to the Brownfield Incentive Grant rule (“BIG rule”) will be amended to provide additional grants to City-supported affordable or supportive housing developments, as well as to manufacturing and industrial projects supported by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (“EDC”), by:

 

  • Reimbursing a supported project for the cost of the site investigation if the project is denied entry into the State brownfield program and is enrolled instead in the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (§ 43-1422(c)(11));
  • Authorizing the Office to exceed the City pre-enrollment grant award cap of $125,000 when an eligible project incurs costs to enroll in the State brownfield program that exceed $125,000 (§ 43-1422(c)(11)); and
  • Reimbursing projects eligible for a City pre-enrollment grant for 100% of their eligible costs, rather than requiring such projects to pay for 25% of the eligible services (§ 43-1416(h)).  

            In addition, the BIG rule will be amended in the following other ways:

  • To allow qualified vendors under contract with EDC to provide eligible services and activities under (a) pre-enrollment and enrollment grants; (b) brownfield opportunity area local match grants; and (c) technical assistance and local match grants used by community based organizations to conduct place-based community brownfield planning (§ 43-1422(c)(1), (3) and (4)).
  • To increase the reimbursement to development projects for the costs of hiring a consultant to advise on whether to enroll a project with the State brownfield program. Under the amended rule, the City brownfield grant program will reimburse development projects $1,000 (a new award) and preferred community development projects $1,333 (currently $500) for these services.  The list of eligible services that can be reimbursed by brownfield green job training grants will also be expanded (§ 43-1419(a)(5) and Schedule B). 

Third, the City Voluntary Cleanup Program rule will be amended by striking §43-1410 (f) to make it consistent with recently adopted State law establishing a statutory exemption for projects enrolled in the City’s Voluntary Cleanup Program from the State hazardous waste program fee and the special assessment on hazardous waste. Unless exempted, parties that remove hazardous waste from a property in New York State are required to pay the State a hazardous waste program fee and a special assessment for each ton of hazardous waste generated. 

 

Finally, the amendments include several technical drafting changes in the Program Rule to ensure consistency throughout this regulatory scheme (§§ 43-1406(a) and 43-1410).

 

Effective Date: 
Sun, 06/04/2017

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

 

 

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009. Charter § 15(e)(5) authorizes its Director to administer financial incentives offered through various programs to promote the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields. Charter § 15(e)(15) authorizes the Director to administer the hazardous materials (E) designation program (described below) and § 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules to implement the Office’s programs.

 

OER is proposing to amend the City’s environmental remediation rules in the following ways: 

 

First, Subchapter 6 of Chapter 14 of Title 43 would be amended to revise its title and to establish, through a new section, both a process for applicants to request modification of noise attenuation requirements in a special mixed use district, and also a fee for the administrative costs of reviewing these requests (§ 43-1461).

 

Second, the rules relating to the Brownfield Incentive Grant rule (“BIG rule”) would be amended to provide additional grants to City-supported affordable or supportive housing developments, as well as to manufacturing and industrial projects supported by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (“EDC”), by:

 

  • Reimbursing a supported project for the cost of the site investigation if the project is denied entry into the State brownfield program and is enrolled instead in the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (§ 43-1422(c)(11));
  • Authorizing the Office to exceed the City pre-enrollment grant award cap of $125,000 when an eligible project incurs costs to enroll in the State brownfield program that exceed $125,000 (§ 43-1422(c)(11)); and
  • Reimbursing projects eligible for a City pre-enrollment grant for 100% of their eligible costs, rather than requiring such projects to pay for 25% of the eligible services (§ 43-1416(h)).

In addition, the BIG rule would be amended in the following other ways:

● To allow qualified vendors under contract with EDC to provide eligible services and activities under (a) pre-enrollment and enrollment grants; (b) brownfield opportunity area local match grants; and (c) technical assistance and local match grants used by community based organizations to conduct place-based community brownfield planning (§ 43-1422(c)(1), (3) and (4)).

● To increase the reimbursement to development projects for the costs of hiring a consultant to advise on whether to enroll a project with the State brownfield program. Under the proposed rule, the City brownfield grant program would reimburse development projects $1,000 (a new award) and preferred community development projects $1,333 (currently $500) for these services.  The list of eligible services that can be reimbursed by brownfield green job training grants would also be expanded (§ 43-1419(a)(5) and Schedule B).

Third, the City Voluntary Cleanup Program rule would be amended by striking §43-1410 (f) to make it consistent with recently adopted State law establishing a statutory exemption for projects enrolled in the City’s Voluntary Cleanup Program from the State hazardous waste program fee and the special assessment on hazardous waste. Unless exempted, parties that remove hazardous waste from a property in New York State are required to pay the State a hazardous waste program fee and a special assessment for each ton of hazardous waste generated.

 

Finally, the proposed amendments include several technical drafting changes in the Program Rule to ensure consistency throughout this regulatory scheme (§§ 43-1406(a) and 43-1410).


“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this Office, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subject: 

Omnibus Amendments to City’s Brownfield Program Rules

Location: 
Central Park Room
100 Gold Street (2nd Floor)
New York, NY 10038
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

   

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(5) authorizes its Director to administer financial incentive programs to promote the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields.  Charter § 15(e)(6) also authorizes the Director to promote community participation in these activities. 

 

 

OER is proposing amendments to its Environmental Remediation Rules in two principal ways.  

 

 

(1)  The rule relating to the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program (“Program Rule”), set forth in Subchapter 1 of Chapter 14, would be revised to amend the definition of “unrestricted use” for sites that enroll in the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) (§ 14-1407).

 

 

OER designs, reviews, and approves cleanup plans for light- to moderately- contaminated sites in New York City and later oversees the initial phase of construction at VCP sites to ensure that proposed cleanup plans are actually carried out in the field. Properties that achieve “unrestricted use” status are desirable because they are protective of any legal use the property can be put to. Another feature of “unrestricted use” sites is that their owners are not required to monitor the continued implementation of any restrictions on use. 

 

 

The proposed amendments (§ 43-1407(k) and (l)) would revise the definition of “unrestricted use” in New York City to specify that restrictions that would be mandatory for a property in the VCP would not include restrictions that already apply to the property as part of area-wide or city-wide land-use or resource-use restrictions. For example, remedial actions would not be required to specify restrictions for activities that are unlawful in New York City. In some circumstances, under existing regulations, the only restriction that would be placed on a property during a remedial action is for uses that are already prohibited by City statutes (i.e., dairy farming). The proposed amendments would allow remedial actions to exclude the establishment of site-specific restrictions that are already prohibited by the City. In other words, such land uses would be excluded from consideration when determining if an unrestricted use cleanup at a site in New York City that achieves the restricted-residential standard is appropriate. Because sensitive uses of land such as dairy farming are not allowed in New York City, the unrestricted use standard that is fully protective of all possible uses of property in New York City can be slightly higher (i.e., the restricted-residential standard) than across the state.

 

 

The amendments would also eliminate the need for site owners to conduct long-term monitoring for activities that are not lawful. In addition, by redefining “unrestricted use,” the amendments would encourage more parties enrolled in the VCP to pursue higher-level soil cleanups across New York City.

 

 

 (2)  The Office also oversees and administers the New York City Brownfield Incentive Grant (“BIG”) Program, set forth in Subchapter 2 of Chapter 14, which provides City funds to promote the cleanup and redevelopment of light- to moderately- contaminated sites across the city.  The proposed amendments would:

 

 

● Expand the list of entities that can perform work eligible for reimbursement with City brownfield grants to include (1) workforce development organizations that offer short term employment to trainees and (2) vendors under contract with the City or the NYC Economic Development Corporation that perform eligible services under the city brownfield grant program (§ 43-1416(m)).   

 

 

● Expand an existing City pre-enrollment grant, increase the City pre-enrollment grant award limit to $125,000, and create a new City enrollment grant to reimburse affordable and industrial development projects for cleanup activities undertaken in either the VCP or the State brownfield cleanup program. Affordable and supportive housing projects financed by the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development or the City Housing Development Corporation, as well as industrial development projects supported by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, would be eligible for up to $125,000 to cover investigation costs and up to $250,000 in total to cover investigation and site cleanup costs. Services and activities that can be reimbursed under a City enrollment grant are those performed pursuant to a remedial action work plan issued by the Office or the New York state department of environmental conservation (§43-1417(a)(3); § 43-1417(b)(7); § 43-1418(c)(2); § 43-1418(d); § 43-1419(c)(2); § 43-1422(c)(11); § 43-1422(c)(12)).

 

 

● Make place-based community brownfield planning groups recognized by OER eligible for a technical assistance grant to develop a reuse plan for a development site and a BOA local match grant to identify, screen, and select strategic sites. By expanding eligibility for these grants, the Office seeks to increase the number of community organizations performing community brownfield planning in the city. The BOA program provides State planning grants to community based organizations to develop plans for the redevelopment of neighborhoods with idle, vacant sites. Recently, the State has declined to provide new funds for the BOA program, prompting OER to supplement existing City support for community brownfield planning (§ 43-1416 (b), (l), (n)(5) and (q); § 43-1417(c)(1) and (2); § 43-1418(d)(2)(B), (d)(3)(A)(ii) and (B); (d)(4)(B)(ii)); § 43-1422(a), (c) (3) and (4); § 43-1423 (d)).

 

 

● Expand eligible services and activities for cleanup grants, track one bonus cleanup grants, brownfield opportunity area strategic property bonus cleanup grants, City enrollment grants, e-designation hazardous material remediation grants, climate change resilience bonus cleanup grants, and E-designation/restrictive declaration hazardous material remediation grants to include additional long-term management plans and additional remedial actions commonly required by Office-approved remedial plans. (§ 43-1419(a)(4)). 

 

 

● Require that parties seeking City reimbursement for eligible cleanup expenses have six months from the receipt of a notice of completion, a notice of satisfaction or a certificate of completion to file a complete City brownfield grant application (§ 43-1420(h)).

 

 

● Increase the maximum cleanup grant award available to not-for-profit developers of preferred community development projects to $50,000 and make available to developers of housing and industrial sites supported by City development agencies a consultation service on the feasibility of entering such a site in the State brownfield cleanup program (§ 43-1422(c)(2)). As a result of comments received after publication of the rule, text has been added to § 43-1422(c)(12) indicating that the City will also be making $50,000 cleanup grants available to City-supported affordable housing or industrial projects that enroll in the City Voluntary Cleanup Program.

 

 

● The proposed rule amendments acknowledge the change in nomenclature regarding the program that was formerly known as the “Local Brownfield Cleanup Program”, which is now known as the “City Voluntary Cleanup Program” (§§ 43-1401 to 43-1405, 43-1408 to 43-1410, et al). 

 

 

● The proposal includes numerous technical drafting changes to Subchapters 1 and 2 to ensure consistency and conformity throughout this regulatory scheme.

 

 

Finally, Schedule A (“Grant Awards and Award Limits”) and Schedule B (“Eligible Services and Activities/Reimbursable Allowance”) are repealed and re-promulgated both to reflect the numerous substantive revisions set forth in the proposed rule, and to incorporate improved formatting changes. As the result of comments received after publication of the rule, a new eligible service – “peer advisory services” has been added to the Technical Assistance Grant portion of Schedule B.  “Peer advisory services” consist of professional advice provided to a community based organization on how it can best engage private landowners to advance local economic development. Also with respect to Schedule B, footnote d has been revised to include “community based organizations” in the description of the non-profit status of entities involved with preferred community development projects.

 

Effective Date: 
Thu, 01/28/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, November 13, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

 

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(5) authorizes its Director to administer financial incentive programs to promote the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields.  Charter § 15(e)(6) also authorizes the Director to promote community participation in these activities.

 

OER is proposing amendments to its Environmental Remediation Rules in two principal ways. 

 

(1)  The rule relating to the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program (“Program Rule”), set forth in Subchapter 1 of Chapter 14, would be revised to amend the definition of “unrestricted use” for sites that enroll in the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) (§ 14-1407).

 

OER designs, reviews, and approves cleanup plans for light- to moderately- contaminated sites in New York City and later oversees the initial phase of construction at VCP sites to ensure that proposed cleanup plans are actually carried out in the field. Properties that achieve “unrestricted use” status are desirable because they are protective of any legal use the property can be put to. Another feature of “unrestricted use” sites is that their owners are not required to monitor the continued implementation of any restrictions on use.

 

The proposed amendments (§ 43-1407(k) and (l)) would revise the definition of “unrestricted use” in New York City to specify that restrictions that would be mandatory for a property in the VCP would not include restrictions that already apply to the property as part of area-wide or city-wide land-use or resource-use restrictions. For example, remedial actions would not be required to specify restrictions for activities that are unlawful in New York City. In some circumstances, under existing regulations, the only restriction that would be placed on a property during a remedial action is for uses that are already prohibited by City statutes (i.e., dairy farming). The proposed amendments would allow remedial actions to exclude the establishment of site-specific restrictions that are already prohibited by the City. In other words, such land uses would be excluded from consideration when determining if an unrestricted use cleanup at a site in New York City that achieves the restricted-residential standard is appropriate. Because sensitive uses of land such as dairy farming are not allowed in New York City, the unrestricted use standard that is fully protective of all possible uses of property in New York City can be slightly higher (i.e., the restricted-residential standard) than across the state.

 

The amendments would also eliminate the need for site owners to conduct long-term monitoring for activities that are not lawful. In addition, by redefining “unrestricted use,” the amendments would encourage more parties enrolled in the VCP to pursue higher-level soil cleanups across New York City.

 

(2)  The Office also oversees and administers the New York City Brownfield Incentive Grant (“BIG”) Program, set forth in Subchapter 2 of Chapter 14, which provides City funds to promote the cleanup and redevelopment of light- to moderately- contaminated sites across the city.  The proposed amendments would:

 

● Expand the list of entities that can perform work eligible for reimbursement with City brownfield grants to include (1) workforce development organizations that offer short term employment to trainees and (2) vendors under contract with the City or the NYC Economic Development Corporation that perform eligible services under the city brownfield grant program (§ 43-1416(m)).   

 

● Expand an existing City pre-enrollment grant, increase the City pre-enrollment grant award limit to $125,000, and create a new City enrollment grant to reimburse affordable and industrial development projects for cleanup activities undertaken in either the VCP or the State brownfield cleanup program. Affordable and supportive housing projects financed by the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development or the City Housing Development Corporation, as well as industrial development projects supported by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, would be eligible for up to $125,000 to cover investigation costs and up to $250,000 in total to cover investigation and site cleanup costs. Services and activities that can be reimbursed under a City enrollment grant are those performed pursuant to a remedial action work plan issued by the Office or the New York state department of environmental conservation (§43-1417(a)(3); § 43-1417(b)(7); § 43-1418(c)(2); § 43-1418(d); § 43-1419(c)(2); § 43-1422(c)(11); § 43-1422(c)(12)).

 

● Make place-based community brownfield planning groups recognized by OER eligible for a technical assistance grant to develop a reuse plan for a development site and a BOA local match grant to identify, screen, and select strategic sites. By expanding eligibility for these grants, the Office seeks to increase the number of community organizations performing community brownfield planning in the city. The BOA program provides State planning grants to community based organizations to develop plans for the redevelopment of neighborhoods with idle, vacant sites. Recently, the State has declined to provide new funds for the BOA program, prompting OER to supplement existing City support for community brownfield planning (§ 43-1416 (b), (l), (n)(5) and (q); § 43-1417(c)(1) and (2); § 43-1418(d)(2)(B), (d)(3)(A)(ii) and (B); (d)(4)(B)(ii)); § 43-1422(a), (c) (3) and (4); § 43-1423 (d)).

 

 ● Expand eligible services and activities for cleanup grants, track one bonus cleanup grants, brownfield opportunity area strategic property bonus cleanup grants, City enrollment grants, e-designation hazardous material remediation grants, climate change resilience bonus cleanup grants, and E-designation/restrictive declaration hazardous material remediation grants to include additional long-term management plans and additional remedial actions commonly required by Office-approved remedial plans. (§ 43-1419(a)(4)).

 

● Require that parties seeking City reimbursement for eligible cleanup expenses have six months from the receipt of a notice of completion, a notice of satisfaction or a certificate of completion to file a complete City brownfield grant application (§ 43-1420(h)).

   

● Increase the maximum cleanup grant award available to not-for-profit developers of preferred community development projects to $50,000 and make available to developers of housing and industrial sites supported by City development agencies a consultation service on the feasibility of entering such a site in the State brownfield cleanup program (§ 43-1422(c)(2)).

 

● The proposed rule amendments acknowledge the change in nomenclature regarding the program that was formerly known as the “Local Brownfield Cleanup Program”, which is now known as the “City Voluntary Cleanup Program” (§§ 43-1401 to 43-1405, 43-1408 to 43-1410, et al).

 

● The proposal includes numerous technical drafting changes to Subchapters 1 and 2 to ensure consistency and conformity throughout this regulatory scheme.

 

 

Finally, Schedule A (“Grant Awards and Award Limits”) and Schedule B (“Eligible Services and Activities/Reimbursable Allowance”) are repealed and re-promulgated both to reflect the numerous substantive revisions set forth in the proposed rule, and to incorporate improved formatting changes.

Subject: 

.

Location: 
Central Park Room
100 Gold Street 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038
Contact: 

No contact

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

 

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) administers the New York City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) which facilitates cleanup of light to moderately contaminated sites in New York City. OER and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) executed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) in August 2010 through which DEC recognizes the city Voluntary Cleanup Program and coordinates with OER in setting remedies for sites in the city cleanup program.

 

In the course of remediating sites, developers often must excavate and dispose of hazardous waste that had been previously buried at their properties. New York State Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) § 72-0402 requires parties that generate hazardous waste, including owners of city VCP sites, to pay DEC $130 for each ton of hazardous waste they generate. Section 27-0923 of the ECL also requires parties that generate hazardous waste to pay the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance up to $27 in a special assessment on hazardous waste. On November 17, 2014, DEC agreed to exempt city VCP sites from paying the state hazardous waste program fee in an amendment to the MOA.

 

OER was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(17) authorizes its Director to establish fees for programs administered by the office. To implement the amendment to the MOA, OER must certify to DEC each VCP site that generates hazardous waste. This work requires OER to conduct site inspections, work closely with a site’s representatives and certify to DEC that removal of hazardous waste from a site in the city program was proper and complied with all applicable laws and regulations.

 

The fee established by this rule will cover OER’s costs in making certifications to DEC that each city VCP site with hazardous waste is worthy of an exemption. OER seeks to recover its costs in providing the service to VCP sites and to provide sufficient income over time for the office to expand its staff to manage the program as more city redevelopment projects seek to benefit from it.

 

The rule assesses a fee of $10.00 for each ton of hazardous waste that a city VCP site generates. The 2015-16 New York State Executive Budget, which the state legislature adopted on April 1, 2015, exempts city VCP sites from the state hazardous waste program fee and special assessment on hazardous waste. In light of this statutory exemption from the special assessment, the Office has increased the fee assessed by this rule. In addition to delivering the hazardous waste program fee exemption, OER now must coordinate with DEC to deliver the special assessment exemption, which will require additional services not originally anticipated.

Effective Date: 
Wed, 06/17/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, April 24, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) administers the New York City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) which directs developers to remediate light to moderately contaminated sites in New York City. OER and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) executed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) in July 2014 through which DEC recognizes the city Voluntary Cleanup Program and coordinates with OER in setting remedies for sites in the city cleanup program.  

In the course of remediating sites, developers often must excavate and dispose of hazardous waste that had been previously buried at their properties. New York State Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) § 72-0402 requires parties that generate hazardous waste, including owners of city VCP sites, to pay DEC $130 for each ton of hazardous waste they generate. On November 17, 2014, DEC agreed to exempt city VCP sites from paying the state hazardous waste program fee in an amendment to the MOA.

OER was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(17) authorizes its Director to establish fees for programs administered by the office. To implement the amendment to the MOA, OER must certify to DEC each VCP site that generates hazardous waste to DEC. This work requires OER to conduct site inspections, work closely with a site’s representatives and certify to DEC that removal of hazardous waste from a site in the city program was proper and complied with all applicable laws and regulations.

The fee established by this proposed rule will cover OER’s costs in making certifications to DEC that each city VCP site with hazardous waste is worthy of an exemption from the state hazardous waste program fee. OER seeks to recover its costs in providing the service to VCP sites and to provide sufficient income over time for the office to expand its staff to manage the program as more city redevelopment projects seek to benefit from it.          

The proposed rule assesses a fee of $8.00 for each ton of hazardous waste that a city Voluntary Cleanup Program site generates.

Subject: 

Fee for hazardous waste program fee exemption

Location: 
Prospect Park Room
100 Gold Street 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038
Contact: 

N/A

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Pages