GREENPOINT — Greenpoint is one step closer to accessing $19.5M settlement funds from Exxon Mobil — and a longtime local non-profit is leading the way.
The state's Greenpoint Environmental Benefits Program — which disperses $19.5 million to the community for environmental projects after decades of oil spills into Newtown Creek — will be led by the local North Brooklyn Development Corporation along with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, officials announced Friday.
The funds come from a record-breaking federal court settlement to be paid by ExxonMobil, which spilled 17 million gallons of oil into Newtown Creek in the 1970s that has seeped into the neighborhood over the years.
The settlement, reached in 2010, stipulated that the money be used for local environmental projects.
The two groups' appointment as "general administrator" to distribute the funding comes just in time for a community open house Monday evening about the project.
The open house, at the Polish and Slavic Center Monday from 5 — 8 p.m., will be a chance for locals to propose environmental projects and to meet members of the 39-year-old North Brooklyn Development Corporation and of the Washington D.C.-based National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who announced the state's choice of its general administrator, explained that the partnership between a local and national group to administer the funds would provide a well-rounded perspective.
"This partnership will ensure close and continuing collaboration with the community and help achieve a cleaner, healthier future for Greenpoint," Schneiderman said in the email announcement. "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."