City Council urges state to fund brownfield cleanup
by Andrew Shilling
Jun 18, 2014 | 2420 views | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Donovan Richards
Councilman Donovan Richards
With the clock ticking in the state legislature to secure state funding before the session ends, city representatives are calling on Albany to ensure $15 million to fund the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program.

The City Council introduced a resolution this week to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to restore funding for the cleanup initiative at numerous contaminated city properties.

Many of these sites are found in low-income communities throughout the city, and Councilman Donovan Richards, chairman of the council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, has led the charge in lobbying state politicians.

“Community-supported Brownfields reclamation is a sound investment towards public health, public safety, and economic development,” Richards said. “All New Yorkers – including poor communities of color and upstate inner city areas that have been hard hit by the recession – deserve to live and work in a safe and healthy environment.”

BOA funding would also provide residents living in proximity to such sites direct access to Tangible Property Brownfield Tax Credits, an incentive built to revitalize neglected neighborhoods.

Eddie Bautista, executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, said funding the bill would restore broken neighborhoods that were used as a dumping ground for dangerous chemicals.

“We must stand together and not allow Albany to turn the clock back 15 years on our neighborhoods, to the bad old days when communities were left out and left behind,” Bautista said.

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