Brownfields Update

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Title:
Brownfields Update
Date:
March 1, 2001
Area(s) of Practice:
Environmental Law

Reimbursement to Developer Is First in the Nation

In October 2000, the NJDEP presented Arc Properties, Inc. with a check for more than $1 million to reimburse the developer for a portion of the cost to cleanup a brownfield site in Edison.

The reimbursement program, which helps private parties pay for conducting a voluntary cleanup of a brownfield site, was established under New Jersey's Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act and is the first of its kind in the nation. The program allows a developer to enter into an agreement with the state whereby taxes generated from new businesses operating at the former brownfield site provide the money to reimburse the developer for up to 75% of the cleanup costs. Brownfields developers must operate with DEP oversight and must complete all remedial work before they are eligible for reimbursement.

In addition, at the recent Brownfields 2000 conference, Arc Properties won the Phoenix Award for its brownfield project, the Edison Crossroads Retail Center. The Phoenix Award is a national award presented each year to an outstanding brownfield project.

National Brownfields Initiative Receives Highest Award

The EPA's Brownfields Initiative was one of ten recipients of the prestigious Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and Council for Excellence in Government's Innovations in Government Award, 2000. This award is the highest award given to honor those government programs that have best served the public.

The Brownfields Initiative, developed in 1993 to clean up abandoned, contaminated sites and restore them to productive community use, has awarded over 500 grants, totaling over $140 million, to communities nationwide. These grants have resulted in the creation of over 7,000 new jobs and over $2.3 billion in private investment.

National Governors' Association Report Showcases New Jersey's Brownfields Development Efforts

Governor Christie Whitman used a recent visit to the Crane Pottery brownfield site in Trenton to release a new report from the National Governors' Association that highlights New Jersey as one of the nation's leaders in putting abandoned and contaminated former industrial sites into the state's overall plans for land use and development.

The Governor credited New Jersey's success in redeveloping brownfields to its broad and comprehensive approach in looking at how to develop brownfields "not just from a project-by-project viewpoint but from an area-wide perspective." The cooperation of many different state agencies that deal with state planning, rather than just the involvement of the Department of Environmental Protection, was another aspect of New Jersey's approach highlighted by the report and the Governor.

New NJDEP Mapping

i-MapNJ Brownfields, an interactive mapping application, allows users to explore New Jersey data and consider brownfields redevelopment opportunities within the State. The application enables users (such as potential developers) to ascertain important information on brownfields, such as: (1) whether brownfields exist within a specific county or municipality; (2) whether and what brownfields exist within incentive zones; and (3) the proximity of brownfields to transportation infrastructure. The brownfields maps may be launched at njgeodata4.state.nj.us/i-map/brownfields/.