For Release — March 19, 2015
The Business Council of New York State, Inc. strongly supports extension of the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP)
ALBANY, N.Y.—Citing the need to continue critical environmental cleanup and redevelopment projects across the state, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. today called on the Governor and the Legislature to extend the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP).
“There is clear and convincing data to substantiate that the New York Brownfield Cleanup Program is a cost-effective environmental remediation and economic development tool, which has delivered results in rural and underserved communities’ alike.” said Darren Suarez Director of Government Affairs for The Business Council. “By design, the tax credits have driven more than $7 billion in private investment. The brownfield redevelopment program is at a critical junction and it is paramount that the program be extended, in order to continue critical cleanup projects and the redevelopment of brownfield sites for productive uses across the state,” said Suarez.
To support the extension of the BCP, The Business Council has issued the following Fact Sheet:
- Data on Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Credits shows every state dollar in credits has been matched by $6.78 in private investment and since 2007 the BCP has returned to the state more than $7 billion in private investment.
- Forty three percent of the projects and associated jobs created at redeveloped sites are in designated Environmental Zone—a designation based on the area’s high poverty and/or high unemployment.
- Using a broader metric of economic distress, 63 percent of projects were either in Environmental Zones or in a census tract where the poverty rate was above the statewide average.
- BCP investments have a high degree of conformance with smart growth and sustainability objectives with a measures for density (1.5 FAR for non-industrial projects), walkability (Walk Score® of 75), and transit access (transit score of 89 for a limited sample of sites).
- Uncertainty surrounding the extension of the BCP tax credits has likely contributed to a low participation rate in many counties throughout the State.
- The program is available to developers of contaminated sites throughout the State, and does not favor more expensive or larger-scale projects.
- Since the program was restructured in 2008, smaller projects are more likely to receive a larger proportion of total costs credited.
- Since 2008, projects are significantly less expensive to the state treasury than those admitted in the 2003-2008 period with an average per-project credit cost of approximately $1 million, compared to $14 million for pre-2008 projects.
- Sites admitted since 2008 tend to be smaller, more geographically diverse, more likely to be located in low income areas, and to be redeveloped for industrial or affordable housing uses.
- Seventy four percent of credits of tax credits for post-2008 projects have been earned as a result of site cleanup expenses.
- In projects accepted since the 2008 changes, site preparation and on-site groundwater remediation credit components are utilized more than the tangible property credit. Moreover, remediation projects completed under the current BCP are significantly less costly, and are occurring in a wider variety of regions throughout the State.