Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's time to clean up the brownfields program

From Capital New York:

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on a statewide brownfield cleanup program that is woefully insufficient, according to a report issued by a leading environmental advocacy group in New York.

"The current program is out of control," Peter Iwanowicz, head of Environmental Advocates of New York, said in statement accompanying the report. "Taxpayers are footing the bill for an extraordinarily costly and broken system that is in desperate need of reform.”

The report, entitled "Ripe for Reform," says that since 2009, close to $800 million in tax breaks have gone to redevelopment at brownfield sites and not for cleanup, leaving thousands of sites in need of remediation. In releasing the report last week, the group joined Citizens Budget Commission in urging Albany to enact reforms proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Brownfields are sites of concentrated contamination that are the environmental legacy of New York's 20th century manufacturing industry. Former gas and oil refineries, chemical plants and foundries are the chief sites in need of remediation.

According to the EANY report, whole regions of the state have been ignored by New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program, while the "cleanup" aspect of the program has given way to lucrative redevelopment tax credits. The group reports that 86 percent of all payouts since 2009 have been redevelopment credits as opposed to remediation costs.


Anonymous said...

Why clean it up? This program has been a cash cow for scoundrels, or in other words, politically connected developers. Hell, let's just pull the cork and call it even plainer. Many of them are just a pack of crooks!

Anonymous said...

Most of this will never be cleaned up, and in a few decades, with the cancer rates spiking in the kids whose silly stupid gullible parents (never stuck their noses out of i-phones) will begin to discover their little tykes are being raised in a toxic brownfield blessed with periodic sewage flushed in from each hurricane.

I can see contracts let out to tear down those battered cheaply built hulks that are now breathlessly going up.

These areas will revert to the type of parkland we should be putting in today, but then, the developers and their politician buddies would not made a mint out of our taxes.

But look at the good in this.

If its not your kids dropping, once these buildings are gone you can once again get a seat on the subway.

Anonymous said...

Time to get rid of the brown nosers who keep sucking up to their council members for table scraps. For example...Paul Vallone will piss in your glass and convince you it's lemonade. AND....there are some A holes that are content enough to drink it. Yummy! Northeast Queens is being sold out by shady thugs like Don Paulo. Yet there are some civic ASSociation folks who believe he's a nice family guy. Yeah...La Famiglia!