Omnibus Amendments to City’s Brownfield Program Rules

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 



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).