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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”) oversees the New York City Brownfield Incentive Grant ("BIG") Program. Through the BIG program, OER awards grants to support and advance brownfield projects across the city by making grants available to projects from the earliest stages of project development through project remediation.

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.

 

Since 2011, OER has provided over one hundred Brownfield Incentive Grants to for-profit and non-profit developers undertaking cleanup and redevelopment of sites in the City voluntary cleanup program and to community based organizations seeking to apply for or advance their State-funded Brownfield Opportunity Area ("BOA") planning in neighborhoods across the city. Because of the rapid growth in the participation of developers in the City voluntary cleanup program, the entire original fund established to fund the BIG program has been earmarked. OER has sought and obtained new funding from the City for the BIG program to partially replenish the original fund.

The rules continue the operation of the BIG program with reduced appropriations. In addition, OER has made additional changes to the BIG program to increase the program’s value for developers remediating brownfields across the city.  

 

The amendments:

·         create new Brownfield Incentive Grants;

·         make the first significant revisions to the list of eligible services and activities that are eligible for reimbursement with City brownfield grant funds;

·         reduce the size of several City cleanup grants for future projects to reflect reduced funding;

·         increase the amount of funding for BOA for community-based organizations;

·         for the first time, restrict the city-wide reach of the BIG  program;

·         eliminate the environmental insurance grant and replace it with a new eligible service;

·         consolidate certain technical services; and

·         boost reimbursement for preparation of a site management plan

 

New Brownfield Incentive Grants

 

The proposed amendments create four new Brownfield Incentive Grants to encourage the redevelopment of brownfields:

 

1)    A Climate Change Resilience Bonus Cleanup Grant of up to $5,000 to accelerate cleanup of properties in coastal flood zones;

2)    A Brownfield Green Job Training Bonus Cleanup Grant of up to $6,000 to encourage developers to hire participants in job training programs so they can acquire work experience at sites in the City brownfield cleanup program;

3)    A City Pre-enrollment Grant of up $100,000 for site investigations and remedial planning activities at publicly owned sites and sites with environmental tax liens; and

4)    A Green Property Certification Bonus Cleanup Grant of up to $1,000 to pay for a New York City green property certification plaque for sites that complete cleanups in the City voluntary cleanup program.

 

Addition of New Eligible Services 

The amendments make significant revisions to the list of services and activities that are eligible for reimbursement with City brownfield grant funds. These changes are referenced in § 43-1419 and set forth in Schedule B. The new services include:

·         the installation of soil vapor management systems;

·         the cost of field oversight of remedial activities by qualified environmental professionals;

·         the production of a remedial investigation report and a remedial action report,

·         the reimbursement for an attorney’s due diligence on a property prior to its enrollment in the City voluntary cleanup program, and

·         reimbursement for environmental insurance 

 

Reduction in Size of Cleanup Grants

The  amendments  reduce the size of several City cleanup grants for future projects because of the reduced City appropriations:

·         The reductions decrease the maximum grant awards by more than half for:

o   the standard cleanup grant;

o   the cleanup grant for preferred community development projects; and

o   the track-one bonus cleanup grant.

·         The E-designation and restrictive declaration remediation grants will be cut in half.

Increase in Funding of BOA Grants          

            The amendments  increase from $25,000 to $50,000 the total amount of City funds that community-based organizations with BOA contracts could receive in the form of Local Match grants. These changes are set forth in § 43-1422 as well as Schedule A.


            Restrictions on Size and Location of Eligible Sites

For the first time, the proposed amendments will restrict the city-wide reach of the BIG grant program. Projects larger than 100,000 square feet and projects at or south of 96th Street in Manhattan will be ineligible for City BIG funds if they had not enrolled in the City voluntary cleanup program by April 2013.

           
            Amendments to Insurance Grant  

            The proposed amendments eliminate the environmental insurance grant and replace it with a new eligible service that will reimburse parties for the premiums they paid for environmental insurance policies for projects that are enrolled in the City voluntary cleanup program.

 

            Consolidation of Technical Services        

            Additional rule amendments consolidate certain technical services, including:

·         reimbursement for the preparation of a remedial investigation document, a new service, which will cover all remediation investigation activities and preparation of a remedial action work plan;

·         reimbursement for the preparation of a remedial action report, a new service, which will cover all remedial action oversight activities and preparation of a remedial action report;

·         simplified reimbursement for laboratory analysis of environmental samples collected in the field by the elimination of separate payments for analysis of individual metals, volatile and semi-volatile compounds, and replacing these with reimbursement for analysis of groups of similar compounds known as Target Analyte List metals, Target Compound List SVOCs, and Target Compound List VOCs.

 

Reimbursement for Site Management Plans

The proposed amendments will boost reimbursement for preparation of a site management plan from $2,500 to $7,500.

 

 

 “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.

 

New text is underlined; deleted material is in [brackets].

 

 

Effective Date: 
Wed, 03/19/2014