7:04am

Wed June 11, 2014
Environment

Environmentalists call for toxic site legislation as session closes

Environmental advocates are pressing the state legislature to renew a toxic site cleanup program before the session wraps up in a few days, even though there seems little interest in taking up any big issues in Albany.

Environmentalists are holding up the toxic site cleanup program’s renewal as a measure of a successful legislative session. 

Both the Assembly and Senate have versions of a bill to renew a cleanup program for old industrial sites, known as brownfields. But environmentalists are calling on the governor to urge legislative leaders to act on the bills.

The program gives financial assistance for developers to clean up the sites, which advocates say spur economic growth.

"If we don’t see action to reform, extend these programs, we’re going to see cleanups slowing down. The projects have to be completed by next year when the sunsets go into effect in order for them to get the benefits they are looking for," said Environmental Advocates of New York's Katherine Nadeau Tuesday. 

Nadeau says the session won’t be a success if the program isn’t renewed.

"For all of us here, for the business community, it’s something that both houses and the governor have committed to. And now it’s time to really get action together," she said. "It’s a short timeline, but it can happen."

There's less than a week left in the session.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has downplayed the chances of these or other big legislative issues coming up in the final days of the session. He recently noted to reporters the brownfield tax credits don’t expire for another year.