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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) launched a new effort to encourage the redevelopment of gas stations and other brownfied sites across upstate New York and the rest of the country.
Specifically, the senator put his full support behind the potential extension of the Brownfield Tax Incentives, which allows environmental cleanup costs at eligible properties to be tax deductible in the year incurred.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines brownfields as properties that contain the potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant that complicates redevelopment.
Schumer cited 344 brownfield sites in upstate New York that were created due to store closings in the last decade, and claimed there are more than 450,000 such locations nationwide.
"Scores of the vacant gas stations across upstate New York could act as gateways to bustling downtowns, instead of being contaminated and dangerous eyesores," said Schumer. "That is why I'm launching a push to extend the Brownfields Tax Incentive, which recently expired, to encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of these gas pumps and other contaminated sites across upstate New York … Gas stations are often located on prime real estate in bustling downtown areas that are worth every penny to local developers, even given the need for cleanup."
Gas stations make up half of the 450,000 brownfields in the country, the senator added.
The Brownfields Tax Incentive was passed in 1997, but expired at the end of 2011.