Sustainable Long Island recognizes that brownfield redevelopment is the future of growth on Long Island.

Sustainable Long Island maps brownfields where they occur in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, advocate for redevelopment legislation, and always strive to move redevelopment forward in communities that express the want and need for downtown revitalization.

Living on Long Island, abandoned and blighted properties along our major commercial corridors are an almost daily sight. What we can’t see is the ground contamination that has made many of these properties unusable and poses a potential threat to human health. These brownfields are often former dry cleaners, warehouses, gas stations, and other industrial or commercial parcels and while the businesses have long since departed, the contamination may still remain in the ground.

Imagine this scenario: Long Island cleans up and redevelops all of its potential brownfields. Studys show for every acre of brownfield that is redeveloped, three acres of open space are preserved. The resulting development of Long Island’s brownfields could create 60,000 full-time jobs, $6.8 billion in business revenue, and $340 million in tax revenue – all without infringing on a single acre of Long Island’s dwindling open spaces. The contaminants that led these brownfields to be abandoned can be removed from the ground and no longer threaten our drinking water – Long Island could then be one step closer to being environmentally sustainable.

Examples of Brownfield Redevelopment Project Results:

  • Hosted three regional brownfields conferences and conducted over 100 presentations to introduce the concept to people across Long Island
  • Helped craft the language and supported the passage of statewide brownfields cleanup legislation, adopted by Albany in 2003
  • Created Brownfields-to-Greenfields, a how-to redevelopment manual distributed regionally, with a second edition released in 2011:
    • The purpose of this “roadmap” is to provide an understanding of the brownfield redevelopment process and the opportunities available in New York.  It is designed to provide information for local government officials seeking to facilitate brownfield redevelopment in their communities, citizens hoping to understand how the process affects them, developers and investors seeking to participate in this growing marketplace, groups that wish to facilitate the redevelopment process, and end-users of redeveloped property.  The ultimate goal is to facilitate full stakeholder participation in the brownfield process. This manual provides information on: New York State, federal and private funding and financial incentives; technical assistance and liability protection available for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York State; and an overview of the various brownfield programs offered by New York State.
  • Developed and launched the Brownfield Busters Patch Program in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, an educational program developed to teach Long Island Girl Scouts about brownfields and environmental leadership; and presented the program at the EPA National Brownfield Conference receiving a regional EPA award for the program
  • Consistently organizes individual meetings with municipalities and the Department of State to explore utilizing Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) planning grants to further revitalization goals within their specific localities. We’ve worked on BOA programs for the Town of Babylon/Wyandanch: Final NY BOA Program Step 1 and 2 completed (a significant component of the ‘Wyandanch Rising’ project); Village of Freeport: Application for BOA Program Step 2 submitted to NYS; Huntington Station: Step 1 Draft Nomination Study completed, Step 2 in progres; and Hicksville (Northwest in Step 1 phase, Southeast in Step 2 phase)
    • The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program provides municipalities and community organizations with expertise and financial assistance of up to 90% of the total eligible project costs to complete redevelopment and implementation strategies and plans for brownfields in an area wide rather than a traditional site by site approach. The Department of State administers the BOA program and NYSDEC provides relevant technical assistance and advice to the Department of State and BOA grantees. The area-wide approach enables communities to comprehensively assess existing economic and environmental conditions associated with brownfield impacted areas. The BOA planning framework is flexible and can be adjusted and tailored to meet specific community needs. These planning and implementation strategies can include community visioning, public participation processes, existing conditions analysis, economic and market studies to assist in determining the best use of brownfields and vacant sites; environmental investigation; site-specific redevelopment plans; environmental impact assessments; marketing material, local law changes, architectural and streetscape design and other actions to spur investment and redevelopment of brownfields.
      • The BOA program has been grossly under-utilized in Long Island, and Sustainable Long Island attempts to further the community development efforts of Long Island municipalities by assisting them with the application process.
  • Participated in a number of regional and national conferences and committees including EPA’s National Brownfield Conference, co-chair of NYS chapter of National Brownfield Association, invited by The Ferguson Group to be members of a national committee of organizations committed to advancing brownfield redevelopment initiatives
  • Has organized brownfield breakfast series which include meetings with Long Island municipalities to promote BOA applications as well as offer technical assistance
  • Advocated for expedited redevelopment of contaminated properties by proposing various policies such as the inclusion of Class 2 inactive hazardous waste Superfund sites in the definition of a brownfield, so that they would qualify for the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). This was based on Sustainable Long Island’s research indicating that Nassau and Suffolk have the greatest concentration of Class 2 State Superfund sites in the state, which have been difficult to cleanup. The difficulty is due to the reluctance of companies to accept responsibility for the site and the underfunded Superfund program
  • Created a Long Island-wide Brownfield Advisory Committee, or task force, to bring urgent brownfield matters to the forefront and look for opportunities to redevelop brownfields including widely distributing the newly revised Brownfields to Greenfields manual as well as a brownfields survey to scope the current understanding of brownfields

 

Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) History and Status

Community Project Year SLI Role Project Status
Village of Farmingdale BOA Step 2 2011 Assisted Village with community outreach & engagement Completed: Village Board accepted State Env. Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Environmental Findings Statement Village preparing for Step 3 – Report available here
Village of Freeport Application for BOA Step 2 2010-11 If approved, SLI will conduct outreach & community engagement Application for BOA Step 2 submitted to NYS DOS 9/2011 *Pending Gov. approval
Hicksville BOA Step 1 (NW) 2012 Assist lead (H2M) with community outreach & engagement Read more here…
  BOA Step 2 (SE) 2012 Assist lead (NP&V) with community outreach & engagement Read more here…
Huntington Station BOA Step 1 (phase I) 2009-10 Assist lead (Gannett Fleming) with community outreach & engagement Draft Nomination study prepared & submitted June 2010
  BOA Step 2 (phase II) 2012 - Assist lead (Gannett Fleming) with community outreach & engagement Sustainable Long Island’s community outreach and public participation completed.
Long Beach BOA Step 1 2008 Assist lead (Gannett Fleming) with community outreach & engagement Completed Pre-Nomination Study submitted in February 2009, available on City’s website. Pending effort by non-profit group, Long Beach Latino Civic Assoc. to continue BOA work. Pre-Nomination Study available here
Wyandanch BOA Step 1 & 2 2006-09 Assist lead (Town of Babylon) with community outreach & engagement Final NYS BOA Program Nomination submitted to State May 2009
BOA Step 3 2010 Assist lead (Town of Babylon) with outreach for design charrette Implementation of TOD/”transit village” ongoing

Brownfields Survey

Brownfields to Greenfields 2011

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