Nearly every community in our state is negatively affected by brownfields, which create community health risks, spoil the environment, perpetuate unemployment and erode tax bases.
The problem with brownfield sites is that due to risks and unknowns (contamination, cost for cleanup, legal issues), they remained untouched and unused.
The sites offer an enormous opportunity for development, which could positively impact our economy if used correctly.
That is why the Brownfield Cleanup Program needs to be included in the 2014-15 NYS Budget.
Thanks to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP,) hundreds of Upstate New York’s contaminated properties have been transformed into major economic development projects including parks, stadiums, residential developments and more.
We can see the enormous rewards of the program right in our own backyard by looking at the following projects:
One Canalside (Donovan Building): $2.9 million in BCP tax credits leveraged $40 million in total development
Welded Tube: $8 million in BCP tax credits leveraged $40 million in total development
*Worth noting is that the Welded Tube project was on a portion of an ongoing BCP project at the former Bethlehem Steel Property. If we lose the BCP, we will stunt the growth of the rest of the ongoing remediation project.
HealthNow (Blue Cross Blue Shield): $200,000 in BCP tax credits leveraged $110 million in total development
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites nationwide, thousands of which are in New York State.
A brief background: The New York State 2003 Superfund/Brownfield law created the Brownfield Cleanup Program, offering incentives for private parties to develop brownfields. The program not only provides a comprehensive liability release for successful cleanup, but also significant tax credits to offset the costs that are associated with the cleanup and reuse of such sites.
Through restoration of brownfield sites, we can succeed in:
- creating regional jobs
- improving the health and safety of our city and local communities
- revitalizing our neighborhoods
- protecting our state’s natural resources
In summary, Brownfield Cleanup Program needs to be included in the budget because of its tremendous impact to further develop our regional economy.
Make your voice heard! Find your elected official here and call to let them know that BCP must be included in the budget!