MARCH 2008

New Jersey approves brownfield development areas

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will coordinate the cleanup and revitalization of dozens of blighted properties encompassing nearly 500 acres in Camden, Middlesex and Hudson counties through its Brownfield Development Area program.

The DEP has approved Brownfield Development Areas for a once-thriving industrial port along the Delaware River in Gloucester City and an area encompassing old landfills in Bellmawr, both Camden County; 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, both Middlesex County; and a former hub of the metals processing industry in Jersey City, Hudson County.

The following locations have been named Brownfield Development Areas:

  • Gloucester City’s Southport is the site of a 19th century ship yard that included petroleum refining and titanium processing operations. It is now 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 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. For this area, the municipality envisions 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.
  • Revitalization of Jersey City’s Grand Jersey Redevelopment Area 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 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 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, visit www.nj.gov/dep/srp/brownfields/bda.