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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 6/25/01
01/78
CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Jennifer Sciortino
(609) 984-1795 or (732) 826-7121

Perth Amboy Signs Environmental Partnership with DEP City Enters Into 5-Year Agreement to Meet Goals

The City of Perth Amboy and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today entered into a partnership agreement that will accelerate local environmental improvements and revitalization efforts through an integrated plan with specific environmental goals and project timelines.

The five-year agreement signed by DEP Commissioner Bob Shinn and Mayor Joseph Vas will assist DEP in focusing its expertise and resources on addressing the environmental priorities of the city in a holistic manner.

"Given the breadth and scope of our redevelopment plans, DEP's partnership comes at a crucial time when Perth Amboy is in the process of remediating many of its ailing properties in order to create viable and productive uses, once again. We thank Commissioner Shinn and the DEP for recognizing the work being done in Perth Amboy and for sharing our vision for both physical and environmental revitalization," stated Mayor Joseph Vas

"We are using new results-based approaches to environmental management and are working to strengthen partnerships with local governments to improve the quality of life for residents. I commend Perth Amboy officials for their leadership and am excited that this is the first agreement to include the goal of reducing greenhouse gases," said Shinn.

The plan, modeled after the New Jersey Sustainability Greenhouse Gas Action Plan, will identify strategies to reduce emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels within the city.

This is the third Performance Partnership Agreement Commissioner Shinn has signed with a local government, the first was with Bayonne and the second was with Hudson County. The agreements are modeled after DEP's Peformance Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"The City of Bayonne's agreement has been a tremendous success, allowing the City and DEP to work together on projects as diverse as parklands to brownfields redevelopment. The agreement takes a lot of work to make it successful, and with the same commitment and dedication, the City of Perth Amboy can make it work as well," said Bayonne Mayor Joseph Doria.

The first step under the agreement will be the formation of an action plan that outlines the city's environmental issues and goals. A project schedule will be developed to help DEP and the city reach their goals in an expeditious manner.

Some of the initial environmental focus areas of the agreement are: brownfields redevelopment, containment of urban sprawl, waterfront re-development, and water quality improvements.

The environmental management plan will be coordinated with Perth Amboy's Redevelopment Plan - Focus 2000 - which is focused on attaining many of these goals. Focus 2000 has identified over 1,000 acres of blighted and underutilized land in three main areas of the city where more than $1 billion in redevelopment is scheduled to take place. The plan includes a shoreline restoration project, the Arenum by the Bay sports and entertainment complex, a retail/office center, a business park and a new residential/commercial/cultural district - the $600 million Landings at Harborside project, which is believed to be the largest of its type in the country.

The agreement will ensure that the redevelopment of Perth Amboy will take place in an environmentally sound manner, protecting the air and water for present and future generations.

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