OER provides community services, participation and assistance throughout the process of brownfield identification, investigation, remediation, and redevelopment. OER’s programmatic outreach continues to expand and currently includes the Brownfield Incentive Grant (BIG) Program, funding for and access by citizens to expert technical assistance, capacity-building and brownfield training workshops, a firm commitment to the local implementation of the Brownfield Opportunities Area (BOA) program including local match grants to BOA groups, grants to brownfield projects that are consistent with BOA community plans and innovative area-wide community brownfield planning initiatives, support for green job training and local brownfield employment, commitments to transparency and enhanced community protection measures, and innovations to make OER’s involvement in the brownfield cleanup process environmentally sustainable.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEPUTY MAYOR GOLDSMITH
ANNOUNCES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION'S
BROWNFIELD COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM
NYC Service Brownfield Community Services Report Outlines Grants, Educational Opportunities and Assistance to Communities with Brownfields
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith today announced the establishment of a new NYC Service brownfield program and released the first edition of the New York City Brownfield Community Service Report. The report was released at a meeting of brownfield community planning organizations in the Blue Room at City Hall. The City’s brownfield programs are managed by the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER), a new office established in June 2008 to implement the initiatives in the Brownfields chapter of PlaNYC.
The announcement comes less than one week after Mayor Bloomberg announced the launch of the New York City Brownfield Incentive Grant Program, a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, to provide funding to assist investigation and cleanup of NYC brownfield properties.
“Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg through PlaNYC, we are fixing the barriers that too often prevent brownfield sites from being remediated and redeveloped,” said Deputy Mayor Goldsmith. “This new report captures in one place all of the grants, education sessions and programs for cleanup that we offer to communities and locally based organizations involved with brownfields.”
Brownfields—vacant or underutilized properties where the redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by environmental contamination—can pose major challenges for communities, especially when they occur in clusters. These challenges include human health and environmental concerns, and depression of local economic growth and job creation.
The new report identifies the range of services that OER has developed to help City communities cope with brownfields and related issues. These services include the country’s only municipal Brownfield Cleanup Program, a community-minded financial incentives program established with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, community access to expert technical assistance, brownfield training workshops, funding and opportunities for green job training in the brownfield industry, a community protection ‘Bill of Rights’ for brownfield cleanups, and innovations to make the brownfield cleanup process more sustainable.
“PlaNYC called for the creation of progressive new brownfield programs with a strong community focus,” said Dr. Daniel Walsh, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation. “The Mayor’s Office consulted many community-based organizations to learn what services were needed to solve brownfield problems. That process helped us design a community service program that will make a big difference for New Yorkers.”
“When my Environmental Protection Committee and the City Council unanimously passed the New York City Brownfield Bill last year, we envisioned strong community orientation in the City’s new programs,” said NYC Councilman James Gennaro, Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection. “As the new report shows, our collaboration with the Mayor’s Office has now achieved this. It is a great example of collaboration and good government.”
“The Mayor's Office has delivered on its promise to make New York City communities a central focus when designing its brownfield programs,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “In just two years, the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation has set the national standard for municipal-community partnerships in addressing the myriad problems associated with brownfields.”
“The creation of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation under PlaNYC has given the City of New York both the unprecedented resolve as well as capacity to comprehensively tackle development issues related to the adaptive re-use of urban brownfield sites,” said Neil W. Pariser, Sr. Vice President of SoBRO, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. “From the perspective of a community development agency, as affordable housing and industrial development sites become harder to assemble, one of the greatest challenges we face is to economically restore and re-develop contaminated sites for productive community use. OER is an invaluable partner in this process.”
"The Mayor's Office has been highly proactive in helping STRIVE in its mission to ensure that the emerging green economy provides jobs for the at-risk communities that we serve. In addition to their efforts to cultivate real job opportunities with businesses, they have created the NYC Brownfield Partnership, a voluntary association of business and community based organizations dedicated to community service that formalizes this process. This is a great approach for green job training in other industries as well, and we are very appreciative of the Mayor's Office's support," said Eric Treworgy, CEO of STRIVE, a non-profit organization that provides employment services in East Harlem.
Contact: Josslyn Shapiro (212) 341-3704