On Thursday, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the completion of fourteen environmental cleanup projects in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan as part of the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program. Bloomberg also revealed that the Office of Environmental Remediation is launching the New York City Clean Soil Bank, “a landmark soil exchange that will enable recycling of clean native soil excavated during development of remediated properties for reuse on City and other construction sites.”
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“The NYC Brownfield Cleanup Program is bringing dozens of dormant and contaminated properties back to life throughout the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Working with private developers we are cleaning up these lots and building housing and commercial space that will attract families and businesses to the communities where they are located. In just 2.5 years, this unprecedented program is making possible 13 million square feet of residential and commercial development – including 2,200 units of affordable housing – that will generate more than 4,000 permanent jobs.”
The program to clean up brownfields began in 2011 as part of the mayor’s PlaNYC 2030 initiative for a greener and more resilient New York and has since approved more than 150 cleanup plans across the city with 70 percent of the brownfield cleanup sites located in historically disadvantaged communities. Ground was recently broken on the remediated site of a former Bronx brownfield that will turn into the $17 million West Tremont Senior Residences, which will provide affordable housing for low-income senior citizens.
When PlaNYC was launched in 2007, it was estimated that there were more than 7,000 acres of brownfields and other sites across the five boroughs that are likely contaminated with toxic chemicals. The city has committed $10 million to clean up and develop these sites with an emphasis on low-income areas. The goal is to redevelop all 7,000 acres by 2030.
Lead image via nycmayorsoffice