Voluntary Cleanup

VCP logo

The City Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is a land cleanup program managed by the Office of Environmental Remediation.

Benefits of the VCP

Timeline: A developer who needs to move promptly can often receive an approved remedy and enroll its property in the VCP in 45 days from its first meeting with OER.

Liability Protection: Once a property enrolls in the VCP, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation agrees that it has no plan to ask a developer to do more at its property than implement the OER-approved remedy.

The state liability protection attaches to a site upon its enrollment in the VCP and continues as long as the site complies with the terms of its city cleanup agreement or has successfully completed the VCP and received a notice of completion. The NYS DEC liability protection consists of a statement that the agency generally has no plans to require further investigation or remedial action (beyond the OER-approved remedy) at an enrolled site under either CERCLA, the federal hazardous waste statute, or the state Environmental Conservation Law.

In addition, under New York City law, the City shall not take or require a party to take further investigation or remedial work regarding contamination addressed at VCP sites with a city notice of completion, subject to reopener clauses that are standard in New York.

The state and city liability protection is assignable to an enrolled party's successors and assigns who acquire title to, develop, or otherwise occupy a VCP site, provided such parties adhere to requirements of the VCP.

Grants: Projects in the VCP are eligible for city grants for environmental investigation and cleanup of $25,000 to $50,000. City-supported affordable housing projects are eligible for $250,000 in city funds.

Clean Soil Bank: Projects in the VCP can dispose of surplus clean soil for free except for the cost of trucking soil between the two sites. VCP projects can receive clean soil at no cost.

Hazardous Waste Fee Exemption: Sites in the VCP that generate hazardous waste can save up to $157/ton in taxes and fees that New York State assesses on removal of hazardous waste.

Green Property Certification: When a developer completes a cleanup in the VCP, it receives a NYC Green Property Certification plaque, a symbol that the property is one of the environmentally safest places to live or work in New York City.