From the NY Times:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Pete Grannis, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, announced an agreement Thursday morning that paved the way for the city to start cleaning up “brownfields,” or light-to-moderately contaminated areas that are not toxic enough to qualify for federal or state Superfund cleanup programs. About 7,000 vacant or underused acres around the city could be readied for new development under the program, city officials said.
In 2008, the city created an Office of Environmental Remediation to run the program, which will kick off on a half-acre property at Stillwell Avenue and Pelham Parkway South in the Bronx. One of an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 brownfields around the city, it has been chosen as the site of Pelham Parkway Towers, an affordable housing complex.
City officials said the brownfields program, which offers financial incentives to developers to offset some of the costs of cleaning up properties, would speed the cleaning process and put an end to “self-directed cleanups” managed by the developers without government oversight.