AG Announces Administrator for $19.5 Million EBP Fund in Greenpoint

by GWAPP on

This week, Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman and the NYC Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the North Brooklyn Development Corporation will join with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as administrators of the $19.5 million ExxonMobil settlement on Environmental Benefits Program (EBP). GWAPP is proud to take part in the community building process with several of our Board members joining the EBP Community Advisory Panel (CAP).

If you’re unfamiliar with the EBP process, take a look at the AG’s press release (below) or read through some of our previous posts on the subject.

NEW YORK — New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens today
announced that the Greenpoint-based North Brooklyn Development Corporation
and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will jointly administer the
Greenpoint Environmental Benefit Projects (EBPs) Program. The Program, with
a $19.5 million fund, was established with money paid by ExxonMobil in a
2011 settlement with New York State related to its massive oil spill in
Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

“Directing $19.5 million toward Greenpoint’s priorities means this program
will help reverse the legacy of environmental abuse and neglect in this
vibrant neighborhood,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “This
partnership will ensure close and continuing collaboration with the
community and help achieve a cleaner, healthier future for Greenpoint.”

“As the administrator of this substantial Environmental Benefit Project
fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and North Brooklyn Development
Corporation will work with the Greenpoint Community to choose and implement
the most valuable projects for the community,” said DEC Commissioner
Martens. “DEC continues to work on the remediation directing ExxonMobil,
Chevron and BP to maintain, evaluate and optimize the efficiency of the
remediation systems and engaging and assisting interested developers of
parcels within the impacted areas.”

The Greenpoint EBPs Program was created with money obtained in a 2011
settlement with ExxonMobil for a decades-old oil spill. The settlement
requires ExxonMobil to fully clean up the spill and pay $19.5 million to
fund environmental projects in the community.

The Program’s General Administrator – the joint partnership – was selected
by the State through a process developed jointly with the Greenpoint
Community Advisory Panel (CAP), made up of representatives of local
environmental and civic organizations. CAP has been actively involved in
developing and implementing the Program since its inception in 2011.

The General Administrator will manage the solicitation, evaluation and
development of project proposals and oversee the implementation of projects
that are funded, in collaboration with CAP. The administrator will also
ensure continued engagement and collaboration with the Greenpoint community
in each phase of the Program.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., was
established in 1984 by the U.S. Congress as a private non-profit corporation
dedicated to supporting the conservation and management of the nation’s
natural resources. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over
11,000 grants to 3,700 organizations, leveraging over $635 million in public
funding into nearly $2 billion in environmental benefits. The Foundation
currently manages approximately $475 million in total funding and
administers over 50 EBPs nationwide, including the Attorney General’s $7
million Bronx River Watershed Initiative.

The North Brooklyn Development Corporation was founded as a community
not-for-profit in 1979 by local community and business leaders with the
intention of improving commerce, housing, education and quality of life in
North Brooklyn. The Corporation has a track record of successful community
programs, including administering the New York City Department of Youth and
Community Development Out of School-Time Program and Youth Summer Camp at PS
110 in Greenpoint. The Corporation developed and manages six affordable
housing projects in Greenpoint and Williamsburg and continues to play a
central role in creating a community-based vision for the Greenpoint
waterfront. Consistent with the organization’s grassroots orientation, the
Corporation’s primary role in the partnership with the National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation will be in leading the Program’s engagement and
collaboration with the local community.

Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, said, “I am glad that the joint venture
between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the North Brooklyn
Development Corporation has been selected to administer the Greenpoint EBPs
Program. They will truly bring a two-pronged approach through the National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s experience with environmental issues and the
North Brooklyn Development Corporations understanding of the local
landscape. Both organizations bring knowledgeable and fiscally sound
experience that will be necessary to ensure a fully transparent and
community-based endeavor. I look forward to the exciting environmental
projects that will be developing in our community as a result of this
program.”

New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin said, “Both the North Brooklyn
Development Corporation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are
excellent organizations with long track records of project management and
community outreach. I am certain that their partnership will make for great
administration of the Greenpoint EBP Program. I am very pleased that this
process is continuing to move forward and that Greenpointers are one step
closer to deciding how the Exxon oil spill money will be spent.”

Christine Holowacz, a Greenpoint resident and member of CAP, said, “The
State has acted as a true partner with the community on the Greenpoint EBP
Program. Rather than being told who the Program’s administrator would be,
we collaborated on a process that ensured the community’s criteria were
integral to their selection. I am very pleased with the selection of
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and North Brooklyn Development
Corporation, and their unique combination of national and local capacity,
experience and skills. It has been a pleasure to work with the offices of
Attorney General Schneiderman and DEC Commissioner Martens.”

Dewey Thompson, co-chair of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks
& Planning (GWAPP) and a member of CAP, said, “I’m happy that the CAP and
the offices of Attorney General Schneiderman and DEC Commissioner Martens
took the necessary time and effort to co-operatively develop a process for
selecting a General Administrator for the Greenpoint EBP. As a result of the
process, I feel confident that we chose a partner whose experience,
resources, and local presence will help ensure the community gets the most
from the EBP funds.”

Leah Archibald, Executive Director of the East Williamsburg Valley
Industrial Development Corporation and a member of CAP, said, “I am
delighted we will be moving into a new phase of the Greenpoint EBPs Program,
now that the partnership of North Brooklyn Development Corporation and
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has selected as administrator. As the
community continues its collaboration with the Program administrator and the
State, I am certain that we will see a wide variety of quality projects that
improve our environment, and make Greenpoint a better place to live and
work. I would like to thank the Attorney General and DEC for following
through on their commitment to partnering with the community on this
Program.”

The Greenpoint EBP Program will hold an Open House for the Greenpoint
community on February 11, between 5 and 8 pm, at the Polish & Slavic Center,
176 Java Street, Brooklyn. The event will provide an opportunity for
community members to meet the newly-selected partnership leaders, and
continue to provide input on the type of environmental improvement projects
they would like to see funded in Greenpoint. A preliminary list of
community project ideas can be found on the Program’s website at:
http://www.ag.ny.gov/environmental/greenpoint-environmental-benefit-projects.

The Greenpoint CAP members are: Leah Archibald (East Williamsburg Valley
Industrial Development Corporation); Kurt Cavanaugh (Open Space Alliance for
North Brooklyn); Katie Denny (Open Space Alliance Community Committee);
Michael Heimbinder (Newtown Creek Alliance); Laura Hoffman (Barge Park
Pals); Christine Holowacz (Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee); Ryan Kuonen
(Brooklyn Community Board 1); Phillip Musegaas (Riverkeeper); Stephanie
Thayer (Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn); Dewey Thompson (Greenpoint
Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning); Laura Treciokas (Greenpoint
Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning); Kate Zidar (Newtown Creek
Alliance); and Manuel Zuniga (47 Java Garden Collective). In addition,
representatives of New York State Assembly member Joseph R. Lentol, New York
State Senator Martin M. Dilan and New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin
serve as non-voting members of CAP.

The Greenpoint EBP Program is being handled for Attorney General
Schneiderman by Environmental Policy Advisor Peter C. Washburn and for
Commissioner Martens by Michelle Moore, DEC Region 2. The State is being
assisted in working with the CAP and conducting outreach to the Greenpoint
community by Enviro-Sciences Engineering/ARC Engineering & Construction,
P.C.

GWAPP

GWAPP

The Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning, Inc. ("GWAPP") is a not-for-profit group, 501(c)(3), comprised of individuals, community organizations, religious institutions, and concerned citizens from the Greenpoint-Williamsburg communities dedicated to the development of parks and public access on the Greenpoint waterfront.

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