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site remediation program
2001 Brownfields Update

SRP Publications Brownfields Reports 2001

Letter from the Commissioner

Brownfield 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 results.

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.

 

Sincerely,

Robert C. Shinn, Jr.
Commissioner
New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection

 

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