2006-03-24 / Community

Funding For Environmental Projects

State Senator Malcolm Smith recently announced that a variety of funding opportunities are available to support environmental projects in New York State. Grant funding is provided by various organizations, such as the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), and the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

"The grant opportunities provide funding to protect and enhance the natural resources and environment of the entire State. These programs will have a positive effect on the quality of life for all New Yorkers," said Senator Smith.

A major funding program, the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program, is designed to help communities redevelop land while restoring environmental quality by providing municipalities and community-based organizations with resources to address local brownfields. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, a brownfield is land "complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." The website continued by saying, "Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressure off of undeveloped, open land and both improves and protects the environment." "I encourage eligible municipalities and community-based organizations to apply for the BOA program before the May 26 deadline. This grant funding could have a tremendous impact on community-based organizations throughout the state," explained Senator Smith.

Another grant program is the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP), which is funded by the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. Laws enhanced this restoration program, which provides grants to municipalities that partner with community-based organizations. The goal of the program is to investigate and revitalize brownfields, which can then be used for commercial, industrial or residential use.

The third program highlighted by the Senator is the Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) program. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit community groups with the goal of increasing public awareness and understanding of remedial activities taking place in the community. Through this program, groups must be non-responsible parties that have members whose health, economic well-being or enjoyment of the environment is affected by a release of contamination at an eligible site.

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