The Business Council supports this legislation which would clarify that brownfield sites with historic fill are eligible for the Brownfield Cleanup Program; moves the Brownfield Opportunity Area program from under the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to oversight by the Department of State; modifies the environmental easements on remediated brownfields to meet the standards of the Uniform Environment Covenancy Act; and allows DEC to designate municipalities that meet certain standards to review and evaluate applications to the program.
These changes will allow a larger number of sites to enter the program, especially those with historic fill located on waterfronts, and those in inner cities, as well as superfund Class 2 sites, when owned by a volunteer, and oil spill sites subject to an enforcement order more than five years prior. More sites in the program will lead to a greater number of cleanups.
The bill will also modify the environmental easements on remediated brownfields to meet the standards of the Uniform Environment Covenancy Act. These standards were developed by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws. These changes will offer more certainty for national developers looking to do cleanups in New York State. The environmental, health and economic vitality of the state can only be enhanced from the addition of more national developers.
Accordingly, The Business Council respectfully requests the passage of S.6323.