Brownfield Cleanup Program

New York State and its Department of Environmental Conservation established the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) in 2003 to encourage private-sector cleanups of brownfields and to promote their redevelopment as a means to revitalize economically blighted communities.
A brownfield is any real property in which the redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of contamination such as hazardous waste and/or petroleum. Such properties are often so heavily contaminated that the substantial cleanup and construction costs can outweigh the future value of the projects in some parts of the state. The BCP provides incentives for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites including liability relief and generous tax credits for developers.

Since its inception, the brownfield program has leveraged more than 4,200 new jobs and over $700 million in new development in Western New York alone. During this same time, there have been 36,000 direct and indirect newly created jobs and $7 billion in new development across the state as a whole.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership supports the BCP as the most effective economic revitalization tools available in New York State. The program’s many benefits for our region including:

  • Job creation
  • Clean up of the region from dangerous toxins
  • Return of unusable land back to the tax rolls

Important area projects such as RiverBend, Welded Tube, Alita and the Union Ship Canal would not be here today without the BCP.

In 2015, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership made advocacy for the extension of the BCP a top priority. The 2015 State budget extends the brownfields program another 10 years, giving new development projects until 2022 to apply for the program and until the end of 2025 to complete any cleanup and construction work. The extension also grandfathers many projects that are currently in the pipeline, giving them more time to wrap up work.

While the extension is great news, the Partnership is committed to our continued focus on the Brownfield Cleanup Program in New York State. It is critical to maintaining the momentum that the Buffalo Niagara and Upstate New York economies have experienced and will remain a key component of our advocacy in Albany.

One Region Forward is a collaborative effort to promote sustainable development in Erie and Niagara counties.  The project is funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It combines research and public engagement with planning and action to meet the economic, environmental, and social challenges of the 21st century.

This broad-based initiative promotes sustainable development in areas such as:

  • Land Use
  • Transportation
  • Energy and Climate
  • Access to Food

One Region Forward created a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, a federally recognized document that will give our region priority status for funding opportunities today and into the future. The document serves as a roadmap for:

  • Improving mobility
  • Promoting more efficient land use
  • Strengthening infrastructure
  • Growing the economy
  • Ensuring access to healthy food
  • Protecting housing and neighborhoods

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is a member of the One Region Forward Steering Committee. The committee represents the partnership of government, nonprofit and academic organizations in our region with capacity and experience in transportation, housing, economic development, community health, public engagement and regional planning. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership oversees outreach and programming for private sector stakeholders in the planning process. This involves convening business stakeholders at key points in the process and developing seminars/capacity-building forums intended to promote sustainability in regional business practices.

For more information on One Region Forward, contact Dan Leonard, Director of Economic Development at 716.541.1716,

Links & Resources

Buffalo Niagara Partnership Blogs

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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New York State Empire State Development

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