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Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Adopted Rule

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 develop and administer financial and other incentive programs to encourage the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields. Charter § 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules to implement these provisions.

The Office administers the Brownfield Incentive Grant (“BIG”) program to support and advance brownfield projects across New York City. Previously, BIG grant awards could be reduced by costs associated with grant administration, but OER waived these costs for certain eligible projects. As originally proposed in this rulemaking, OER would extend this waiver to qualifying brownfield properties enrolled in OER’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”). Based on internal comments, the Office will instead completely remove this administrative reduction for all BIG grants, allowing all grantees to receive the entire grant award for which they would otherwise qualify.

As indicated in the proposed rule when initially published for comment, OER has established a new method for reimbursing remedial activities through the BIG program. Developers currently apply for BIG cleanup grants by submitting documentation of itemized eligible remedial activities as work is performed. Depending on the type and number of activities performed, it may take several months to a year for OER and its grant administrator to review these submissions and release grant funds. To streamline this process, the Office has added a new, comprehensive eligible service, “Remedial action: full service.” Developers can select this new service in their grant applications and demonstrate completion of an OER-approved remedy under the VCP, instead of submitting documentation for each eligible activity. This new service will simplify applications, streamlining OER’s review and enabling OER to deliver valuable grants to projects sooner. Because a typical cleanup project reaches or exceeds its grant award cap, this new service will result in awards consistent with the current grant structure, while also incentivizing cleanup of underutilized land in New York City. Based on internal comments received after the public comment period, OER increased this new service’s reimbursable allowance from $70,000 to $85,000.

Finally, as originally proposed, the rule amendments allow for reimbursement of transportation costs associated with soil disposal. Because transportation is an integral part of the soil disposal process and separating trucking and general disposal costs in submitted invoices is administratively burdensome, OER now includes such transportation as an eligible activity.

Specifically, the amendments to the BIG rule are now as follows:

  • Eliminate administrative costs for all grants, thereby allowing grantees to receive the entire award for which they qualify (§43-1422, §43-1423(a)(2), and Schedule A).
  • Add a new eligible service titled “Remedial action: full service” intended to cover all remedial action activities (Schedule B). This amount was originally proposed to be $70,000 and has been increased to $85,000.
  • Allow for reimbursement of transportation costs associated with soil disposal as an eligible activity (Schedule B), as initially proposed.
  • Correct the maximum grant awards summarized in Schedule B.
Effective Date: 
Sun, 04/21/2019

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, November 16, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

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 develop and administer financial and other incentive programs to encourage the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields. Charter § 15(e)(18) authorizes the Director to promulgate rules to implement these provisions.

The Office administers the Brownfield Incentive Grant (“BIG”) program to support and advance brownfield projects across New York City. Although BIG grant awards may be reduced by costs associated with grant administration, OER waives these administrative costs for certain eligible projects. The Office proposes to extend this waiver to all qualifying brownfield properties enrolled in OER’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”), allowing developers of such properties to receive the entire grant award of $25,000 for which they would otherwise qualify. 

OER is also proposing a new method for reimbursing remedial activities through the BIG program. Developers currently apply for BIG cleanup grants by submitting documentation of itemized eligible remedial activities as work is performed. Depending on the type and number of activities performed, it may take several months to a year for OER and its grant administrator to review these submissions and release grant funds. To streamline this process, the Office proposes a new, comprehensive eligible service, “Remedial action: full service.” Developers could select this new service in their grant applications and demonstrate completion of an OER-approved remedy under the VCP, instead of submitting documentation for each eligible activity. This new service would simplify applications, which would streamline OER’s review and enable OER to deliver valuable grants to projects sooner. Because a typical cleanup project reaches or exceeds its grant award cap, this new service would result in awards consistent with the current grant structure, while also incentivizing cleanup of underutilized land in New York City.

Finally, the proposed amendments would allow for reimbursement of transportation costs associated with soil disposal. Because transportation is an integral part of the soil disposal process and separating trucking and general disposal costs in submitted invoices is administratively burdensome, OER seeks to include such transportation as an eligible activity.  

Specifically, the proposed amendments to the BIG rule would: 

  • Eliminate administrative costs for qualifying brownfield properties enrolled in the VCP, thereby allowing developers of such properties to receive the entire award for which they qualify (§43-1423(a)(2) and Schedule A).
  • Add a new eligible service titled “Remedial action: full service” intended to cover all remedial action activities (Schedule B).
  • Allow for reimbursement of transportation costs associated with soil disposal as an eligible activity (Schedule B). 
 
Subject: 

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

No contact