The New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) announced that approximately $4,000,000 in Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) program grant funding is available to advance community revitalization and the designation of Brownfield opportunity areas. This blog will provide an overview of the program eligibility requirements, eligible activities, and further information on the application evaluation criteria. Applications are due by 4:00 PM, July 29, 2022, and must be submitted through the web-based Consolidated Funding Application found here.

What is a Brownfield?

Brownfields are properties that are difficult to redevelop due to the presence or potential presence of contaminants. They can include older industrial properties, former dry cleaners, gas stations, abandoned institutional and commercial buildings, and other obsolete vacant or underutilized properties. Brownfields are properties where a contaminant may be present at levels exceeding the soil cleanup objectives or where levels exceed other health-based or environmental standards, criteria, or guidance adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The presence of potentially contaminated properties can have a detrimental effect on the surrounding communities resulting in area-wide blight and disinvestments.

Why is it important?

The NYSDOS BOA program was created to help incentivize development in affected communities and build a vision and strategy for the redevelopment of Brownfields. Through the NYSDOS BOA program, known and suspected Brownfields are transformed from liabilities to community assets that can generate businesses, jobs, and revenue for local economies, as well as new housing and public amenities.

Through the BOA Program, communities are empowered to:

  • Address a range of problems posed by multiple known or suspected Brownfield sites;
  • Establish sustainable goals and objectives for area-wide revitalization and the redevelopment of strategic sites.
  • Identify and establish multi-agency and private-sector partnerships necessary to leverage assistance and investments to address Brownfields.
  • Reduce carbon emissions and increase climate resiliency in the built environment.
  • Address environmental justice concerns and promote environmental equity in areas that excessive Brownfield sites may burden.
  • Engage in activities to implement the community’s vision.

Who is eligible?

Eligible applicants are municipalities, community-based organizations, and New York City community boards, as defined by the NYSDOS Office of Planning, Development, and Community Infrastructure. Two or more eligible applicants may apply jointly for funding for a project that would improve an area of mutual interest or concern.

Three types of activities are eligible for BOA funding:

(1) Planning: Development of a BOA plan

(2) Predevelopment activities within a state-designated BOA

(3) Phase II Environmental Site Assessments within a state-designated BOA

A funding application should only include one type of activity. The maximum of each grant award under this solicitation is $300,000.

Award limitations and methods used to evaluate applications

Awards may cover up to 90 percent of the project’s total eligible cost. The applicant will be expected to provide the remaining 10 percent. Grant awards may be used to cover personal services, non-personal services, and grant administration activities.

Ineligible costs include indirect or overhead costs, salaries of elected officials, costs incurred outside of the contract term, cost not adequately justified, or those that do not directly support the project. Eligible and ineligible costs are explained further in the full RFA. A total score of 100 points is possible for any application, of which 80 points are derived from program criteria and 20 points from the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) endorsement.

Important notes

For more information about this and other grant opportunities, contact Walden. Our grant writing team has helped numerous organizations apply and secure grant funds for critical projects, and we can help you too. Call us today at 516-701-1681 for more information.