New Jersey Brownfields Funded to Go Green

TRENTON, New Jersey, January 25, 2008 (ENS) – A once-thriving industrial port along the Delaware River in Gloucester City is about to be changed from a blighted area into an environmentally sustainable development, the state of New Jersey announced today.

An area of old landfills in Bellmawr, a former center of fertilizer production in Carteret, and an area that was once the focal point for smelting and paint production in Perth Amboy, are all going to get similar upgrades, as will a former hub of the metals processing industry in Jersey City.

“The critical first step in spurring redevelopment of old industrial areas is removing the threat of contamination,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa Jackson.

Jackson’s agency will coordinate the cleanup and revitalization of dozens of blighted properties encompassing nearly 500 acres through its Brownfield Development Area program,

“The DEP’s Brownfield Development Area program provides the resources municipalities need to clear this hurdle and transform deteriorating factories and abandoned rail yards into catalysts for economic growth and healthier communities through urban renewal,” Jackson said.

“The redevelopment ideas local officials have been discussing for these sites demonstrate a great deal of progressive thinking and commitment to the state’s Smart Growth objectives,” she said.

“They include a variety of plans for mass transit access, mixed-income housing, green building design, and enhancement of open space.”

Gloucester City’s Southport
area is about to be completely
redeveloped. (Photo courtesy
Camden County)

Gloucester City’s Southport is the site of a 19th century ship yard that included petroleum refining and titanium processing operations. Today it is a bleak and isolated collection of mostly abandoned buildings along a 120-acre swath of the Delaware River. The city plans to transform this area into a model waterfront community with residential, commercial and retail properties looking across the river toward the Philadelphia skyline.

The Brownfield Development Area for Bellmawr encompasses 70 acres of former municipal landfills along Big Timber Creek that were never properly closed under state requirements. The municipality envisions for this area a large commercial project that will include a hotel and conference center, marina, and boat ramp as well as a greenway along the creek.

The 105 acre Chrome Waterfront Development Area along the Arthur Kill in Carteret once was an industrial center that included American Agricultural Chemical Co., a fertilizer manufacturer that ceased operations in 1978. Borough officials want to revitalize this area as a transit village with high-density residential, commercial, office, and retail uses that will complement a marina and Staten Island ferry terminal.

Located along the Arthur Kill in Perth Amboy, the 177 acre redevelopment area known as North of Outerbridge Crossing was once the site of an ore refining operation run by American Smelting and Refining Co. and a paint and pigment plant operated by National Lead.

The Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency has developed plans for a massive warehouse and office complex, known as the iPort 440 International Trade and Logistics Center that envision construction of buildings with eco-friendly designs. Redevelopment plans also call for restoration of open space and development of sports and entertainment venues.

Revitalization of Jersey City’s Grand Jersey Redevelopment Area, bounded by Grand Avenue, Jersey Avenue, and the New Jersey Turnpike extension, has languished due to contamination of a 20 acre core area that was the site of a variety of metals processing and reclamation industries.

The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency plans to redevelop this area, which has views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, with housing for people of varying incomes, retail and office space, access to light rail, and open space links to Liberty State Park and the Hudson River walkway.

Municipalities that have been designated as Brownfield Development Areas are eligible for up to $5 million each year from the DEP’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund for site investigation and remediation.

The DEP also assigns a case manager to help communities obtain financial assistance and to coordinate revitalization efforts with other state agencies.

This process brings together all stakeholders to participate in cleanup and revitalization efforts, including owners of contaminated properties, potentially responsible parties, developers, community groups, technical experts, and residents.

The DEP now is accepting applications from municipalities interested in being included in the 2008 round of Brownfield Development Area designations.

Applications must be submitted by a steering committee representing the community and must include the boundaries of the proposed Brownfield Development Area, a clear identification of the sites to be addressed, and a description of current activities within the area. The deadline for applications is March 31. For information, go to: []

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