42 cleanups completed; 90 new sites accepted into BCP
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos celebrated another year of successful environmental cleanups this week as part of the state’s brownfield cleanup programs. Included are a number of sites in Buffalo-Niagara.
“New York’s brownfield cleanup program is a powerful tool transforming former industrial properties across the state, improving quality of life, and revitalizing communities,” Seggos said. “With site visits to cleanups from Buffalo to Long Island, I’ve seen first-hand just how valuable this program is for New York. During 2021, DEC’s brownfield cleanup program completed 42 cleanups and accepted 90 new sites into the program. With Gov. Kathy Hochul’s leadership, DEC is bolstering our commitment to restore, redevelop and revitalize abandoned and underutilized properties in even more neighborhoods, particularly in communities historically overburdened by environmental pollution.”
Among the local sites involved in DEC brownfield cleanups are the former Tonawanda Coke plant on River Road in Tonawanda, and the Spicer Creek Wildlife Management Area along the Niagara River on Grand Island.
Seggos said that, in 2021, DEC issued a total of 42 certificates of completion and accepted 90 new sites into the program, helping to protect public health and the environment across New York state, while revitalizing neighborhoods and strengthening local economies.
In her 2022 State of the State agenda and 2022-23 executive budget, Hochul proposed to build upon the success of New York state’s brownfield cleanup program by extending and expanding the program, which is set to expire in December. The proposal, which includes the 10-year extension, would reauthorize the program and improve it by making property tax credits available in certain disadvantaged, low-income communities, and providing credits for the development of certain renewable energy facility sites to help focus brownfield cleanup program-driven redevelopment (and meet the state’s climate goals).
Hochul also plans to grow the state’s brownfield opportunity area (BOA) program, which provides communities with guidance, expertise and financial assistance to help develop revitalization strategies for areas affected by urban blight or economic distress.
“The brownfield cleanup program continues to transform communities from blight to economic and environmentally sustainable areas across the state,” Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “Under Gov. Hochul’s leadership, we will continue to redevelop and revitalize these underutilized and dormant areas and continue to make our communities stronger.”
For more information about the brownfield cleanup program, visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8450.html.
NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tour the former Tonawanda Coke main plant site. (Photo courtesy of DEC)