New York paid developers $1B to improve brownfields

Jun 11, 2012

A new report from a statewide environmental group says New York's brownfield remediation program is broken. Advocates say too few sites are being redeveloped -- at too high a cost.

Developers were paid $1 billion in state tax credits to improve just over 100 contaminated sites. That's according to a new report from Environmental Advocates of New York.

The group's Alison Jenkins says the tax incentives are grossly inefficient.

"The communities that really need revitalization aren't getting it. We're seeing a lot of these tax credits go to areas that would've been redeveloped anyway. So this is really just kind of the icing on the top for a few developers claiming these really large tax credits," said Jenkins.

The analysis was based on state tax records and data from the Department of Environmental Conservation. A DEC spokeswoman says the agency has no comment.

You can see an interactive map of brownfield sites near you by visiting innovationtrail.org.

The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between five upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of upstate New York's economy.