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Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, November 13, 2015
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, and Charter § 15(e)(5) authorizes its Director to administer financial incentive programs to promote the identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfields.  Charter § 15(e)(6) also authorizes the Director to promote community participation in these activities.

 

OER is proposing amendments to its Environmental Remediation Rules in two principal ways. 

 

(1)  The rule relating to the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program (“Program Rule”), set forth in Subchapter 1 of Chapter 14, would be revised to amend the definition of “unrestricted use” for sites that enroll in the City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) (§ 14-1407).

 

OER designs, reviews, and approves cleanup plans for light- to moderately- contaminated sites in New York City and later oversees the initial phase of construction at VCP sites to ensure that proposed cleanup plans are actually carried out in the field. Properties that achieve “unrestricted use” status are desirable because they are protective of any legal use the property can be put to. Another feature of “unrestricted use” sites is that their owners are not required to monitor the continued implementation of any restrictions on use.

 

The proposed amendments (§ 43-1407(k) and (l)) would revise the definition of “unrestricted use” in New York City to specify that restrictions that would be mandatory for a property in the VCP would not include restrictions that already apply to the property as part of area-wide or city-wide land-use or resource-use restrictions. For example, remedial actions would not be required to specify restrictions for activities that are unlawful in New York City. In some circumstances, under existing regulations, the only restriction that would be placed on a property during a remedial action is for uses that are already prohibited by City statutes (i.e., dairy farming). The proposed amendments would allow remedial actions to exclude the establishment of site-specific restrictions that are already prohibited by the City. In other words, such land uses would be excluded from consideration when determining if an unrestricted use cleanup at a site in New York City that achieves the restricted-residential standard is appropriate. Because sensitive uses of land such as dairy farming are not allowed in New York City, the unrestricted use standard that is fully protective of all possible uses of property in New York City can be slightly higher (i.e., the restricted-residential standard) than across the state.

 

The amendments would also eliminate the need for site owners to conduct long-term monitoring for activities that are not lawful. In addition, by redefining “unrestricted use,” the amendments would encourage more parties enrolled in the VCP to pursue higher-level soil cleanups across New York City.

 

(2)  The Office also oversees and administers the New York City Brownfield Incentive Grant (“BIG”) Program, set forth in Subchapter 2 of Chapter 14, which provides City funds to promote the cleanup and redevelopment of light- to moderately- contaminated sites across the city.  The proposed amendments would:

 

● Expand the list of entities that can perform work eligible for reimbursement with City brownfield grants to include (1) workforce development organizations that offer short term employment to trainees and (2) vendors under contract with the City or the NYC Economic Development Corporation that perform eligible services under the city brownfield grant program (§ 43-1416(m)).   

 

● Expand an existing City pre-enrollment grant, increase the City pre-enrollment grant award limit to $125,000, and create a new City enrollment grant to reimburse affordable and industrial development projects for cleanup activities undertaken in either the VCP or the State brownfield cleanup program. Affordable and supportive housing projects financed by the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development or the City Housing Development Corporation, as well as industrial development projects supported by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, would be eligible for up to $125,000 to cover investigation costs and up to $250,000 in total to cover investigation and site cleanup costs. Services and activities that can be reimbursed under a City enrollment grant are those performed pursuant to a remedial action work plan issued by the Office or the New York state department of environmental conservation (§43-1417(a)(3); § 43-1417(b)(7); § 43-1418(c)(2); § 43-1418(d); § 43-1419(c)(2); § 43-1422(c)(11); § 43-1422(c)(12)).

 

● Make place-based community brownfield planning groups recognized by OER eligible for a technical assistance grant to develop a reuse plan for a development site and a BOA local match grant to identify, screen, and select strategic sites. By expanding eligibility for these grants, the Office seeks to increase the number of community organizations performing community brownfield planning in the city. The BOA program provides State planning grants to community based organizations to develop plans for the redevelopment of neighborhoods with idle, vacant sites. Recently, the State has declined to provide new funds for the BOA program, prompting OER to supplement existing City support for community brownfield planning (§ 43-1416 (b), (l), (n)(5) and (q); § 43-1417(c)(1) and (2); § 43-1418(d)(2)(B), (d)(3)(A)(ii) and (B); (d)(4)(B)(ii)); § 43-1422(a), (c) (3) and (4); § 43-1423 (d)).

 

 ● Expand eligible services and activities for cleanup grants, track one bonus cleanup grants, brownfield opportunity area strategic property bonus cleanup grants, City enrollment grants, e-designation hazardous material remediation grants, climate change resilience bonus cleanup grants, and E-designation/restrictive declaration hazardous material remediation grants to include additional long-term management plans and additional remedial actions commonly required by Office-approved remedial plans. (§ 43-1419(a)(4)).

 

● Require that parties seeking City reimbursement for eligible cleanup expenses have six months from the receipt of a notice of completion, a notice of satisfaction or a certificate of completion to file a complete City brownfield grant application (§ 43-1420(h)).

   

● Increase the maximum cleanup grant award available to not-for-profit developers of preferred community development projects to $50,000 and make available to developers of housing and industrial sites supported by City development agencies a consultation service on the feasibility of entering such a site in the State brownfield cleanup program (§ 43-1422(c)(2)).

 

● The proposed rule amendments acknowledge the change in nomenclature regarding the program that was formerly known as the “Local Brownfield Cleanup Program”, which is now known as the “City Voluntary Cleanup Program” (§§ 43-1401 to 43-1405, 43-1408 to 43-1410, et al).

 

● The proposal includes numerous technical drafting changes to Subchapters 1 and 2 to ensure consistency and conformity throughout this regulatory scheme.

 

 

Finally, Schedule A (“Grant Awards and Award Limits”) and Schedule B (“Eligible Services and Activities/Reimbursable Allowance”) are repealed and re-promulgated both to reflect the numerous substantive revisions set forth in the proposed rule, and to incorporate improved formatting changes.

Subject: 

.

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

No contact

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”) administers the New York City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) which facilitates cleanup of light to moderately contaminated sites in New York City. OER and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) executed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) in August 2010 through which DEC recognizes the city Voluntary Cleanup Program and coordinates with OER in setting remedies for sites in the city cleanup program.

 

In the course of remediating sites, developers often must excavate and dispose of hazardous waste that had been previously buried at their properties. New York State Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) § 72-0402 requires parties that generate hazardous waste, including owners of city VCP sites, to pay DEC $130 for each ton of hazardous waste they generate. Section 27-0923 of the ECL also requires parties that generate hazardous waste to pay the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance up to $27 in a special assessment on hazardous waste. On November 17, 2014, DEC agreed to exempt city VCP sites from paying the state hazardous waste program fee in an amendment to the MOA.

 

OER was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(17) authorizes its Director to establish fees for programs administered by the office. To implement the amendment to the MOA, OER must certify to DEC each VCP site that generates hazardous waste. This work requires OER to conduct site inspections, work closely with a site’s representatives and certify to DEC that removal of hazardous waste from a site in the city program was proper and complied with all applicable laws and regulations.

 

The fee established by this rule will cover OER’s costs in making certifications to DEC that each city VCP site with hazardous waste is worthy of an exemption. OER seeks to recover its costs in providing the service to VCP sites and to provide sufficient income over time for the office to expand its staff to manage the program as more city redevelopment projects seek to benefit from it.

 

The rule assesses a fee of $10.00 for each ton of hazardous waste that a city VCP site generates. The 2015-16 New York State Executive Budget, which the state legislature adopted on April 1, 2015, exempts city VCP sites from the state hazardous waste program fee and special assessment on hazardous waste. In light of this statutory exemption from the special assessment, the Office has increased the fee assessed by this rule. In addition to delivering the hazardous waste program fee exemption, OER now must coordinate with DEC to deliver the special assessment exemption, which will require additional services not originally anticipated.

Effective Date: 
Wed, 06/17/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, April 24, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) administers the New York City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) which directs developers to remediate light to moderately contaminated sites in New York City. OER and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) executed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) in July 2014 through which DEC recognizes the city Voluntary Cleanup Program and coordinates with OER in setting remedies for sites in the city cleanup program.  

In the course of remediating sites, developers often must excavate and dispose of hazardous waste that had been previously buried at their properties. New York State Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) § 72-0402 requires parties that generate hazardous waste, including owners of city VCP sites, to pay DEC $130 for each ton of hazardous waste they generate. On November 17, 2014, DEC agreed to exempt city VCP sites from paying the state hazardous waste program fee in an amendment to the MOA.

OER was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(17) authorizes its Director to establish fees for programs administered by the office. To implement the amendment to the MOA, OER must certify to DEC each VCP site that generates hazardous waste to DEC. This work requires OER to conduct site inspections, work closely with a site’s representatives and certify to DEC that removal of hazardous waste from a site in the city program was proper and complied with all applicable laws and regulations.

The fee established by this proposed rule will cover OER’s costs in making certifications to DEC that each city VCP site with hazardous waste is worthy of an exemption from the state hazardous waste program fee. OER seeks to recover its costs in providing the service to VCP sites and to provide sufficient income over time for the office to expand its staff to manage the program as more city redevelopment projects seek to benefit from it.          

The proposed rule assesses a fee of $8.00 for each ton of hazardous waste that a city Voluntary Cleanup Program site generates.

Subject: 

Fee for hazardous waste program fee exemption

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

N/A

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf):