Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendments to the City's Environmental Remediation Rules

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Comment By: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018


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)).

Public Hearing


Public Hearing Date: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 10:30am

No contact

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