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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 9/24/01
01/113

CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or 609-292-2994

DEP SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH WILDWOOD TO SPUR REVITALIZATION OF THE CITY

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn today signed a five-year partnership agreement with Wildwood City to accelerate revitalization efforts through an integrated plan that will help achieve the city's key redevelopment and environmental improvement goals.

Shinn signed the agreement with Mayor Duane Sloan at a ceremony on the boardwalk. Wildwood is the first municipal government in southern New Jersey to sign an agreement initiated by Shinn to spur environmental progress throughout the state.

"We are using this new 'place-based' approach to environmental management to strengthen partnerships with local governments to improve the quality of life. I commend Wildwood officials for their leadership in joining with us to link economic development with environmental enhancements in a holistic manner," said Shinn.

"We are extremely pleased that Commissioner Shinn and the DEP have taken a strong interest in the revitalization efforts of our community. The City recognizes the importance of preserving our valuable natural resources and has a long tradition of maintaining the balance between environmental quality and economic growth," added Mayor Duane Sloan.

Some of the focus areas of the agreement are: beach enhancement, open space preservation, stormwater and water quality management, mass transit and pedestrian improvements and brownfields redevelopment.

The city will be pursing the availability of government grants and loans and has been approved for a $15,000 grant from DEP for a feasibility study to eliminate existing stormwater outfalls on the beach to improve water quality.

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.

Wildwood officials will solicit stakeholder input in developing an action plan to meet its goals and timelines. A team leader at DEP will work with the city to develop a project schedule and help the city reach its goals.

The agreement includes a greenhouse gas reduction component, which calls for Wildwood to identify strategies to reduce emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels within the city. The plan is modeled after New Jersey's Greenhouse Gas Action Plan to improve air quality by having private and public sectors agree to reduce air emissions from permitted facilities. More than 75 entities have agreed so far to work in partnership with the state toward this goal. Wildwood will analyze its energy and fuel usage and identify ways to reduce usage and increase efficiency.

This is the fifth Performance Partnership Agreement Commissioner Shinn has signed with a local government; the others were with Bayonne, Hudson County, Perth Amboy and Burlington County. The agreements are modeled after the National Environmental Performance Partnership System between DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which uses long-term goals and performance indicators as measures of environmental progress.

 

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