The DEC reported that it received 46 Brownfields Cleanup Program (“BCP”) applications during 2010-2011, an increase of 15% from the previous year. DEC approved 38 of those applications, up from 26 from the year before. This is good news both for developers and property owners, as well as for our communities and the environment.
At the same time, a task force of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section (the “Section”) is working hard to improve the program overall. Topics under consideration include possible revisions to BCP eligibility criteria; the possible establishment of a non-tax-credit based cleanup program; encouraging renewable energy at brownfield sites; whether lessons learned from New York City’s own brownfield program might be useful in considering changes to the State’s program; and the interrelationship of BCP cleanups and Navigation Law cleanups. We will keep you informed about the task force’s findings and recommendations if and when the Section makes recommendations formally for changes in the State’s program as a result.