Guiding Contaminated Long Island Properties to a Successful and New Future Reuse

Long Island has made substantial contributions to the industrial success and prosperity of New York and the country. Many properties used by the defense industry greatly contributed to the technological and manufacturing success needed for World War II and military operations for decades afterwards. It was also the site of substantial advances in manufacturing and development of communications and computer technology. These efforts also produced legacy properties where site contamination was left behind, hindering their reuse and productivity in communities seeking revitalization. Today, many sites, large and small, remain and even include former local dry cleaners that would be prime locations for redevelopment if contamination issues are successfully addressed to protect public health and the environment.

Now, we are successfully navigating another redevelopment to completion - a transit oriented multiple-use residential and commercial development near a commuter train station that will revitalize and reinvigorate another Long Island community. These types of reuse projects – primarily residential in nature - are the largest component of the 2023 certified cleanups, representing more than half of the total. With changes to cleanup rules on target for 2024, we stand ready to continue advancing these worthwhile efforts.

Overall, New York State had a successful year of cleanup and reuse of these types of properties, commonly called brownfields. In 2023, 58 sites reached completion and certification as reuseable under the brownfield cleanup program. At the same time, another 68 sites entered into the program. These sites around Long Island will play a larger role in the future as investors and developers seek new opportunities. Indeed, we have worked with a variety of clients on many types of these sites, with multi-use redevelopment becoming more important and vital parts of the local economy for various communities. Notably, affordable housing developments are now identified as priorities in New York.

On behalf of our clients, we routinely deal with sites that have an industrial or commercial legacy involving contamination issues. We anticipate our clients will have questions regarding how varying levels of contamination can impact their commercial transactions and be addressed to ensure cleanup and successful future redevelopment.