New York City officials estimate that there are more that 7,600 acres of contaminated properties within city boundaries, an area eight times the size of Central Park. Known as “Brownfields,” such properties create environmental, health, and safety hazards to local residents.
NYLPI uses the New York State Brownfields Law and regulations as well as other land use programs to assist communities in enacting cleanup and future use plans to invigorate the local culture and economy. NYLPI also works with communities to ensure that they are appropriately protected from potential health risks associated with the redevelopment of contaminated properties.
In 2000, we published a comprehensive Brownfields Manual to guide communities through the complex redevelopment process and is drafting an updated manual that is expected to be available in late 2008 or early 2009.
Schools on Brownfields
With land scarce and student enrollment growing in New York City, schools are often sited on contaminated land. This is problematic since toxic chemicals can be especially harmful to children. NYLPI works with community organizations and parent associations to ensure that if a school is going to be built on a contaminated site, any cleanup is sufficient to protect children and community residents. NYLPI also works with community partners to reform state law to provide stronger protections and better community participation for schools proposed for toxic sites.