The City of Newburgh, New York hosts a range of brownfield sites due to its industrial legacy. Newburgh currently has identified eight municipally owned brownfields, and there is potential for others existing on both private and public lands throughout the city. The perceived or actual risks of remediation can have far-reaching and negative side effects; brownfields have been shown to deter future growth, increase urban sprawl, lower the economic value of surrounding communities, and pose a threat to the health of local communities. Fortunately, remediation of brownfields is a manageable task and can repair some of the problems that manifest.
The City currently has two programs run through the State of New York that address the issue. The first is the Brownfield Opportunities Area (BOA) and the second is the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). The BOA is a grant designed to promote planning for brownfield remediation; it targets areas with multiple brownfields for the application of the ERP. The ERP provides funds for the investigation and remediation of brownfields found during through the BOA. Through the ERP, New York State refunds 90% of the costs associated with remediation investigation, remedial design, and actual clean-up costs. New York State’s funds through the BOA and ERP provide a secure opportunity to leverage economic benefits through the remediation of the brownfields.