NYC Office of Environmental Remediation Proposed Enforcement Authority Rule Public Hearing on October 28—What You Need to Know

by | Oct 6, 2022

The New York City Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) manages New York City’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), which focuses on vacant and contaminated properties, with the objective of remediating these parcels prior to construction and restoring them to productive use. These properties are highly sought after by real estate developers looking for opportunities to build, while taking advantage of the grants and other cost savings offered through the VCP.

For all the good this Mayor’s Office program does, the OER currently does not have the authority to enforce its own rules related to Site Management Plan reporting and certification requirements. Thus, the OER has announced a notice of a public hearing and opportunity to comment on new proposed rules related to enforcement of certain OER requirements.


Public Hearing Details—When, Where, and What

  • 11:00 AM on October 28, 2022.
  • This will be an online hearing held on Microsoft Teams, or you can call in to +1-347-921-5612 (audio only).
  • If you wish to comment or have questions, they must be submitted by October 28, 2022.
      • Submit comments or questions to OER through the NYC Rules website at
      • Email to
      • Mail to OER, 100 Gold Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10038.
      • If you wish to speak during the public hearing, you must sign up beforehand by calling 212-341-2015. There is a maximum speaking time of 3 minutes.


New Proposed Rules:

  • Site Management Plans require periodic (generally annual) reporting and the site owner must submit an annual certification that the required institutional and/or engineering controls are continuing to protect public health and the environment.
      • A Qualified Environmental Professional is required to certify any engineering controls that involve active or passive remedial systems or mitigation.
      • The site owner can issue the certification if the site control consists only of a physical measure to prevent exposure to contaminated media.
  • The certification of institutional and/or engineering controls must include the following:
      • Confirmation that an inspection was performed during the reporting period to verify that the required site controls are in place and continue to be effective.
      • Confirmation that there have been no impacts to the site controls that would affect their ability to protect public health or the environment in accordance with the applicable Site Management Plan.
      • Confirmation that the annual report and certification were prepared and certified in accordance with OER requirements.
  • For each site, the owner must file a single certification. If a site consists of multiple parcels, a single combined certification must be filed.
  • The owner must notify OER in the event that any of the institutional or engineering controls for a site have failed and provide a work plan detailing an action plan to remedy the failure.


Proposed Civil Penalties:

  • Under the proposed enforcement rule, site owners are subject to the following penalties for failure to comply with OER’s reporting/certification requirements for institutional/engineering controls:
      • Minimum Penalty: $10,000
      • Default Penalty: $20,000

For full details and listing of proposed rules for the Office of Environmental Remediation, visit this link. For help with planning or complying with a remediation project or brownfield cleanup project, contact Walden. Walden has a team of engineering professionals experienced in site development and management. Please call us today at 516-744-5863 to get started on your project.

environmental remediation site

Click here to find Walden’s guide on brownfield development, and contact us at 516-744-5863 to connect with one of our environmental remediation experts.