407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Announcing More Green for Brownfields

By Bradley M. Campbell

Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection


New legislation is making it easier for towns

to receive funding to assess brownfields

and to return the sites to productive use.

For the first time, New Jersey’s counties and redevelopment agencies can receive funding to help assess contamination at properties plaguing their communities and return the sites to productive use.  Previously, only municipalities were eligible for funding from the state’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF).  Expanded eligibility is one of a number of new benefits from legislation, S-277, signed into law this past September to help expedite the redevelopment of the state’s brownfields. Senator John Adler was the lead sponsor of the bill, which received the full support of Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.

 


Of particular importance is the availability of grant funding

for previously ineligible work.


The DEP estimates New Jersey is plagued with as many as 10,000 brownfield sites. Abandoned or sitting idle, these contaminated properties threaten the environment and public health, severely diminish the quality of life of surrounding neighborhoods and impair local tax bases. The adverse impact often is far worse in communities where the cumulative effect of multiple brownfield sites puts a chill on revitalization.

 

These new funding opportunities will prove to be a boon to communities in every corner of New Jersey, especially those unable to attract private funding for cleanup or redevelopment of their brownfield properties because of the site location, contamination levels or size.

 

The state’s municipalities will also benefit from the list of new activities eligible for grants and loans under the HDSRF.  Of particular importance is the availability of grant funding for previously ineligible work. Brownfield redevelopment projects that provide affordable housing are now eligible for 50 percent matching grants to cover cleanup costs. The law also allows 75 percent matching grants for cleanup costs at sites redeveloped for recreation and conservation purposes.  These grants are capped at a maximum of $3 million per year, up from the previous limit of $2 million.

 

In addition, municipalities, counties and redevelopment agencies also can apply for grants and loans for brownfields work, even if they do not own the brownfield site. In that circumstance, a lien will be attached to the property.

 

The new law also enables the DEP and the EDA to develop a pilot program to award $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations to investigate property where hazardous-substance contamination either is known or suspected.

 

Brownfield Development Areas (BDAs) will also see increased benefits from the new law. BDAs are designated by the DEP under a program the department created to assist municipalities with multiple brownfield sites transform those abandoned, blighted properties into engines of economic growth. In those areas, DEP professionals provide assistance in developing and implementing coordinated and comprehensive plans for remediation and redevelopment.

  

In these DEP-designated BDAs, the new law makes available higher levels of funding for investigation and cleanups. Municipalities, counties and redevelopment agencies can now receive grants up to $5 million for BDA work. Previously, funding was limited to loans of up to $1 million per year for cleanup work and grants up to $2 million for investigation work.

 

Currently, upward of $116.5 million exists in the HDSRF to spur brownfield redevelopment projects, and every year, about $15 to $20 million in Corporate Business Tax revenue helps replenish the fund. New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority and Department of Environmental Protection manage the fund. The new law directs that funding be given first to properties that pose an imminent threat to a drinking water source, public health or a significant ecological area.


The law also allows 75 percent matching grants for cleanup costs

at sites redeveloped for recreation and conservation purposes.


S-277 represents the most recent in a series of regulatory reforms and new financing tools that the DEP has developed over the past four years to accelerate brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. The results are evident across the state: from a vibrant residential community that I announced in September with Wood-Ridge Mayor and S-277 co-sponsor Paul Sarlo, to the redevelopment of the former military ocean terminal under the leadership of Mayor Joe Doria, to the South Bound Brook redevelopment led by Mayor and League Past President Jo-Anne Schubert.

 

I encourage New Jersey’s mayors and other municipal and county officials to make the most of all the resources now available to help you improve quality of life in our cities and towns by lifting the environmental and economic burdens that brownfield sites impose.

 

 

Bradley M. Campbell is Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

 

 


407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Announcing More Green for Brownfields

By Bradley M. Campbell

Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection


New legislation is making it easier for towns

to receive funding to assess brownfields

and to return the sites to productive use.

For the first time, New Jersey’s counties and redevelopment agencies can receive funding to help assess contamination at properties plaguing their communities and return the sites to productive use.  Previously, only municipalities were eligible for funding from the state’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF).  Expanded eligibility is one of a number of new benefits from legislation, S-277, signed into law this past September to help expedite the redevelopment of the state’s brownfields. Senator John Adler was the lead sponsor of the bill, which received the full support of Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.

 


Of particular importance is the availability of grant funding

for previously ineligible work.


The DEP estimates New Jersey is plagued with as many as 10,000 brownfield sites. Abandoned or sitting idle, these contaminated properties threaten the environment and public health, severely diminish the quality of life of surrounding neighborhoods and impair local tax bases. The adverse impact often is far worse in communities where the cumulative effect of multiple brownfield sites puts a chill on revitalization.

 

These new funding opportunities will prove to be a boon to communities in every corner of New Jersey, especially those unable to attract private funding for cleanup or redevelopment of their brownfield properties because of the site location, contamination levels or size.

 

The state’s municipalities will also benefit from the list of new activities eligible for grants and loans under the HDSRF.  Of particular importance is the availability of grant funding for previously ineligible work. Brownfield redevelopment projects that provide affordable housing are now eligible for 50 percent matching grants to cover cleanup costs. The law also allows 75 percent matching grants for cleanup costs at sites redeveloped for recreation and conservation purposes.  These grants are capped at a maximum of $3 million per year, up from the previous limit of $2 million.

 

In addition, municipalities, counties and redevelopment agencies also can apply for grants and loans for brownfields work, even if they do not own the brownfield site. In that circumstance, a lien will be attached to the property.

 

The new law also enables the DEP and the EDA to develop a pilot program to award $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations to investigate property where hazardous-substance contamination either is known or suspected.

 

Brownfield Development Areas (BDAs) will also see increased benefits from the new law. BDAs are designated by the DEP under a program the department created to assist municipalities with multiple brownfield sites transform those abandoned, blighted properties into engines of economic growth. In those areas, DEP professionals provide assistance in developing and implementing coordinated and comprehensive plans for remediation and redevelopment.

  

In these DEP-designated BDAs, the new law makes available higher levels of funding for investigation and cleanups. Municipalities, counties and redevelopment agencies can now receive grants up to $5 million for BDA work. Previously, funding was limited to loans of up to $1 million per year for cleanup work and grants up to $2 million for investigation work.

 

Currently, upward of $116.5 million exists in the HDSRF to spur brownfield redevelopment projects, and every year, about $15 to $20 million in Corporate Business Tax revenue helps replenish the fund. New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority and Department of Environmental Protection manage the fund. The new law directs that funding be given first to properties that pose an imminent threat to a drinking water source, public health or a significant ecological area.


The law also allows 75 percent matching grants for cleanup costs

at sites redeveloped for recreation and conservation purposes.


S-277 represents the most recent in a series of regulatory reforms and new financing tools that the DEP has developed over the past four years to accelerate brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. The results are evident across the state: from a vibrant residential community that I announced in September with Wood-Ridge Mayor and S-277 co-sponsor Paul Sarlo, to the redevelopment of the former military ocean terminal under the leadership of Mayor Joe Doria, to the South Bound Brook redevelopment led by Mayor and League Past President Jo-Anne Schubert.

 

I encourage New Jersey’s mayors and other municipal and county officials to make the most of all the resources now available to help you improve quality of life in our cities and towns by lifting the environmental and economic burdens that brownfield sites impose.

 

 

Bradley M. Campbell is Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

 

 

As published in New Jersey Municipalities, November 2005, pages 14 & 17.