SRP Publications Brownfields Reports 2001
from the Commissioner
redevelopment — a benefit for all municipalities
Successful brownfield redevelopment projects have
improved the quality of life in numerous cities across New Jersey
in recent years. Historic waterfronts on the Hudson and Delaware
rivers are thriving once again as well as our urban centers due
to impressive remediation and reuse efforts by developers and local
and county officials with guidance from the state.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
and state Legislature have put in place several tools to help interested
parties and municipalities to remediate and reuse abandoned or marginally
productive contaminated sites.
Clear guidance and flexibility for conducting investigations
and cleanups, funding to conduct such work and increased liability
protections all have contributed to a productive program with tangible
It is interesting to note that brownfield redevelopment
is not limited to New Jersey’s larger cities or urban areas. The
fact is that most of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities have at least
one property that can be considered a brownfield site.
So, while bringing development to long-neglected
urban areas is working and benefits abound, brownfield redevelopment
also makes sense for other municipalities for a number of sound
economic and environmental reasons. It restores property to tax
roles. It results in lower development costs due to existing infrastructure.
It helps create jobs and improves the quality of life in our communities
by making them safer and healthier.
Brownfield sites can include that long-abandoned
gas station, the out-of-business dry cleaner, in addition to the
industrial complex that closed up years ago and has become rusty
and overgrown. These sites do not always pose an immediate threat
to public health, so it is not surprising that many of our towns
have dealt with other local issues.
We need to view brownfield sites as valuable real
estate for a new business to relocate its operations, a recreational
opportunity that can benefit the community, or perhaps a mix of
residential and commercial use.
Many brownfield sites can become choice real estate
when incorporated into a municipal redevelopment plan and combined
with incentives offered by various state agencies. Please enjoy
learning more about the successful redevelopment projects featured
in this report and the many resources dedicated to stimulate environmental
cleanup at New Jersey’s brownfield sites.
Robert C. Shinn, Jr.
New Jersey Department of