Brownfield Cleanup Program: extension needed

The Brownfield Cleanup Program is among the most effective economic revitalization tools available in New York State.

“The Brownfield Cleanup Program creates jobs, cleans up our region from dangerous toxins, and puts unusable land back on the tax rolls. Without re-authorization, positive, important projects like Riverbend, Welded Tube, Alita and the Union Ship Canal would not be here today,” Partnership President & CEO, Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, said at yesterday’s press conference.

welded tube for brownfield blog
Welded Tube

The BCP benefits individual projects and regional development, making it a powerful driver of economic growth.

Since its inception, the Brownfield Cleanup Program’s tax credit investments have led to over $7 billion in private development throughout New York State, and created more than 20,000 permanent jobs.

For every $1 of state credits invested in brownfields, more than $3.40 in taxes is returned to New York State’s bottom line.

BCP infographic
BCP process

The current Brownfield Cleanup Program is on course to expire in December of 2015 and without an extension, one of the state’s most successful economic development programs will suffer considerably.

Current BCP applicants are in a race against the clock, considering the fact that it takes 3.8 years (on average) to complete the program.

For those who have yet to enter the program, projects are on hold until it is certain that the program will be extended.

With only 18 months left in the program, Brownfield cleanup is, for all current intents and purposes, dead – unless the program can be extended in the current legislative session and guaranteed beyond the end of 2015.

Without an extension of the program beyond 2015, it will no longer be usable for our development community.

Imagine Buffalo Niagara without the Brownfield Cleanup Program.

BCP has been one of the most instrumental components to the revitalization that we are seeing throughout our cities and region today.

Without it, the feasibility of some of our biggest projects in the “new Buffalo Niagara” would have been much different:

…The list goes on and on.

HealthNow Building
HealthNow building

The Brownfield Cleanup Program represents smart growth development and efficient fiscal policy, as projects that occur on brownfield sites re-purpose already developed lands.

Unlike greenfield sites, brownfield sites typically already have infrastructure in place: roads, water, sewer, power, etc.

That infrastructure represents a great deal of (previously made) public investment.

Providing credits for projects on sites where the necessary infrastructure already exists is a far more sustainable solution than investing in newly developed sites that require all new infrastructure.

The decision of whether to extend the Brownfield Cleanup Program is an easy one.

The program works and has brought revitalization to Buffalo Niagara.

BCP serves to bring in over three times the credits awarded in new tax revenue for the state. Similarly, its impact on development, jobs and the economy is an exponential multiplier for New York State.

Join us in voicing our support to extend the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Session before the end of the June, 2014 legislative session.

Dan Leonard, AICP Headshot

About Dan Leonard, AICP

Senior Director, Economic Development