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Brownfields

 
The Site Remediation Program's Office of Brownfield Reuse (OBR) provides participants with assistant throughout the remediation process at brownfield redevelopment projects. The staff at OBR can assist in many different ways including coordinating between various governmental agencies, serving as a liaison to different areas of the Department, and providing information regarding the different financial resources that are available for the remediation of a brownfield project.

Private Development

Due diligence must be conducted before a final decision is made to invest in a brownfield redevelopment project. This will help the developer estimate remediation costs and secure federal and state liability protections.

There are two evaluation protocol to apply when conducting a due diligence assessment to accrue liability protections, the federal protocol and the state protocol. The federal due diligence assessment, called All Appropriate Inquiry, can be conducted by any qualified environmental professional. The state due diligence assessment, called a Diligent Inquiry, must be conducted by a New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional. The state Diligent Inquiry assessment requires a licensed professional, therefore, if may be more cost effective to start with the federal All Appropriate Inquiry. The federal protocol can be amended to meet state requirements by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional upon a business decision to proceed.

Some brownfield redevelopment projects are within designated Brownfield Development Areas (BDA), where the Department has assigned advisors to help advance the development goals of the BDA project. BDA are found within areas in need of redevelopment pursuant to NJ Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A). Redevelopment Plans for these areas describe the local vision for that area and the land use authorities in place to implement the plan. Development projects that comply with the Redevelopment Plan will find greater acceptance during the local approval process. If these projects are within a BDA, an advisor from the Department will work with the municipality, BDA Steering Committee and developer to support the project.

Public Development

Governmental entities are protected from Spill Compensation and Control Act requirements on sites where they are not the Responsible Party. These protections are found at N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11g(d)(4) and are briefly described below.

While most municipalities cannot provide direct financial assistance, there are ways that they can reduce project costs and schedule. Municipalities retain land use authorities and other incentives that can be used to facilitate private investment in brownfield sites. Redevelopment plans, redevelopment agencies, community and local political support have all been effective in promoting brownfields development.

The redevelopment project schedule and costs can be greatly reduced when a municipality and developer work together. If a redevelopment plan exists for a project area, a development project that meets the goals of that plan should receive favorable treatment from the municipality in their local approval processes. A local redevelopment agency may be able to support and guide a project through the local approval processes. Successful brownfield redevelopment projects in New Jersey and throughout the country move through the governmental approval processes and are completed on or near schedule when they have the support of municipal, county and state officials. Private-public cooperation is critical to meeting project development goals.