Amendment to the NYC Brownfield Incentive Grant Program
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE
The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) oversees and administers the New York City Brownfield Incentive Grant ("BIG") Program. Through the BIG program, OER awards several grants, including the BrownfieldWorks! Job Training Bonus Cleanup Grant, which was created to encourage environmental businesses and contractors to hire graduates of local workforce development programs.
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. Section 15(e)(6) authorizes the Director to promote community participation in these activities. Section 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules in connection with such programs.
OER designed the BrownfieldWorks! Program to provide workforce development graduates with work experience on brownfield projects by funding trainee salaries for a three-month period. In addition to providing valuable job experience and an opportunity to secure a full- time job, this program improves the quality of brownfield cleanups by bringing additional staff to oversee projects and providing developers with substantial savings on the cost of cleanup by providing cost effective environmental oversight during periods when remedial work is not active.
OER is currently authorized to make these grant funds payable to the workforce development organizations, developers or their environmental consultants. The current rule does not expressly authorize OER to pay grant funds to contractors who often hire trainees at brownfield projects. This rule change would permit the BrownfieldWorks! Job Training Bonus Cleanup Grants to be paid directly to contractors, making it easier for additional developers to provide work experience to trainees.