Paterson Signs Marcellino’s Brownfields Reform Legislation

Carl L Marcellino

March 26, 2009

Governor David A. Paterson today signed Senator Carl L. Marcellino’s landmark legislation that reforms the State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program to better target incentives for cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites.

Senator. Marcellino, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee and sponsor of the bill, said: “New York has always been a national leader in environmental protection. We proved that in 2003 when we created a landmark program for the voluntary cleanup of brownfield sites that began the process of removing contamination across the State. This new law is a positive step towards advancing our common goal of promoting the physical, economic and social revitalization of our communities. I commend Governor Paterson for signing this legislation and look forward to continue working with him to monitor the success of this program.”

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said: “This new law will reform the brownfields program to ensure greater accountability to taxpayers and make it a more effective program to clean up the environment, revitalize urban areas and create new jobs. I commend Senator Carl Marcellino for his leadership in sponsoring this legislation and for working with Governor Paterson and the Assembly to get a result on this important issue.”

Senator Marcellino wrote the Brownfield Cleanup Program in 2003 to encourage cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites across the State, using refundable tax credits as incentives for developers. A brownfield is a contaminated property where the presence of pollution has impeded redevelopment. Many such sites are abandoned throughout the state and contribute to urban blight.

The reform legislation will protect the integrity of the program by capping redevelopment credits while providing better incentives for cleanup. The legislation signed today will:

  • Limit redevelopment credits for non-manufacturing projects to $35 million or three times the cost of site cleanup, whichever is less.
  • Limit redevelopment credits for manufacturing projects to $45 million or six times the cost of site remediation, whichever is less.
  • Increase the tax credits available for site cleanup; sites now eligible for 22 to 50 percent of the total cost of remediation, based on the level of cleanup.
  • Improve administration of the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program.

Project applications approved prior to June 23, 2008 will continue to be eligible for tax credits pursuant to prior law.