Senator Carl L. Marcellino, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, and Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney, Chairman of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee today announced that they held a joint legislative hearing on August 27th on the Brownfields Cleanup (BCP) and Opportunity Area (BOA) Programs.
In 2003, New York State took an innovative step in adopting the BCP and BOA Programs. Four years later, this joint legislative hearing provided a comprehensive evaluation of the programs to determine if they are functioning effectively.
Brownfields are blighted areas in our communities where redevelopment or reuse is hindered because of real or perceived contamination. There are tens of thousands of brownfields throughout the State, many of them are in inner cities. They range from abandoned gas stations to old industrial sites. The goal of the Brownfield Cleanup Program is designed to bring these parcels back to life, improve public health and turn an economic drain into a public gain.
"By working together in a bipartisan way, we will make sure that we strengthen the law to reverse lost years that have doomed localities to unremediated contamination and the public to exposure to toxic pollutants. It is important that we work to put urban eyesores back on the tax rolls and make them community assets rather than letting them eat away at the heart of our cities, towns and villages," said Senator Marcellino.
"Passage of the landmark Brownfield Cleanup Program law in 2003 was an important first step toward the elimination of contaminated sites across the State. Now, four years later, we must take the time to review the implementation of the programs and the allocation of resources to ensure the smooth and efficient cleanup and reuse of brownfield sites", said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney Chairman of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee and a Co-Chair of the hearing.
Specifically this hearing reviewed the tax credit structure and the regulations that are now in place for the Program. Testifying at the Long Island Brownfields hearing was Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis, Ann Marie Jones the Director of Downtown Revitalization from the Town of Bablyon, Michael Posillico the President of Posillico Environmental, Sarah Lansdale the Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island, Michael Deering the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Long Island Association, Marcia Bystryn the Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Michael White the Executive Director of the Long Island Regional Planning Board.
A second hearing will be held in Albany, September 25.