CSG Law Alert: NJDEP Announces the Relaunching of the Brownfield Development Area Program

The office of Contaminated Site Remediation & Redevelopment (“CSRR”) within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”), is now accepting applications for new Brownfield Development Area (“BDA”) designations through April 30, 2024. BDAs are in areas within a municipality where several brownfield sites are located and must be in an “area in need of redevelopment” pursuant to the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A, the “LRHL”). CSSR works with stakeholders to simultaneously implement remediation and develop reuse plans for multiple sites within the BDA, with the intent to streamline the process by implementing a regional approach. It is important to note that private entities are not eligible to apply for BDA designation. Eligible applicants include towns, counties, municipalities, redevelopment agencies or authorities, and other public entities authorized to exercise redevelopment powers, pursuant to the LRHL.

Funding opportunities for BDA applicants include the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund grant program, which includes a municipal grant program and a low interest loan program available to private parties. This funding has been used to conduct environmental assessments and remedial actions prior to development. The New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust is another public funding source available for brownfield remediation and redevelopment if the end use will, in some way, improve water quality. Brownfield remediation projects are eligible for loans ranging from a quarter to half of the market rate.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) administers several funding programs that may be used for brownfield redevelopment projects, including the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program. The ERG program can fund an incentive grant of up to 75% of the annual incremental State Tax and/or Local Tax revenue for development projects in certain growth areas. The NJEDA administers several other funding programs that may be used for brownfield redevelopment projects. These programs include funding for building construction, business attraction and start-up, business growth, commercial real estate development, clean energy solutions, business growth, employment incentives, business retention and relocation, landfill closure and remediation and other economic activities.

CSRR is accepting applications for new BDA designations through April 30, 2024.

Links to the NJDEP website providing an overview of the BDA program, guidance for the application, as well as the application itself, follow: https://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/brownfields/bda/bda_program_overview.pdf; https://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/brownfields/bda/bda_app_guidance.pdf; https://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/srra/forms/bda_form.pdf.

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