|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||8 May 2007 20:08:51 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-BIF] New York City's brownfields plan|
Developing Brownfields The Right Way opinion by Mathy Stanislaus and Jody Kass Gotham Gazette (NY) May 7, 2007Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to build on an estimated 7,600 acres of contaminated land, known as brownfields, will eliminate health hazards that plague poor neighborhoods and communities of color and create space for desperately needed housing. The mayor's plan is visionary, courageous and insightful, and the implementation plan includes provisions that empowers residents and community based organizations and directs funds where they are most needed.
A Transparent ProcessA dozen groups, including New Partners in Community Revitalization has lobbied the city to create a centralized office focused on redeveloping city brownfield sites. The mayor included such an office in his plan, but it now needs the authority, staff and funding to develop and implement his agenda. Moving forward, the office will also need to ensure that the projects it assists have emerged from a community planning effort or have support of the local community. And any project that seeks city help to develop a brownfield must demonstrate that their projects are consistent with the city's sustainability goals.
Dual RoleThe primary focus of the city's new Office of Environmental Remediation is to advance the redevelopment of the city's brownfield sites, but it will also be charged with regulatory oversight. When the same agency that develops a project also has the responsibility for regulating it, an inherent conflict arises. To avoid that, the new office will needed to develop policies and procedures and hire the right personnel to assure a user-friendly program while achieving regulatory goals.
Making the Best Use of FundsThe mayor announced that the city will provide $15 million for a public-private revolving loan fund to finance remediation and related costs. But it is not clear how the city will get these dollars into specific projects. The city government should maximize its funds by leveraging private dollars for remediation through partnerships with community lending institutions such as NY Metro Brownfields Redevelopment Fund Program, which uses federal and city funds to credit enhance remediation loans.
... For the entire column, see http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20070507/200/2171 -- Lenny Siegel Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/961-8918 <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.cpeo.org _______________________________________________ Brownfields mailing list Brownfields@list.cpeo.org http://www.cpeo.org/mailman/listinfo/brownfields
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