NEW YORK CITY-For years, redevelopment of brownfields in New York City has been a difficult, slow process. It has been difficult because the only available government program has been the Brownfield Cleanup Program administered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which has applied extremely restrictive eligibility criteria. It has been slow because DEC has been clogged with applications and even after a property is admitted into the program, the progress from start to finish has been sluggish and protracted.

So it was hardly surprising that developers and their counsel applauded the recently announced agreement between the city and the DEC in which DEC endorses the idea of having a city agency investigate lightly and moderately tainted brownfields, oversee remediation and advise that the cleanup is complete. Most environmental and civic groups also lined up behind the city’s new Local Brownfield Cleanup Program, largely because the city will apply the state’s cleanup standards and also because the LBCP program allows for citizen input at all key points in the process.

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