This fall, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) announced the relaunch of two impactful resources for site remediation, the Brownfield Development Area (“BDA”) Program and the Technical Review Panel (“TRP”).
The BDA Program allows selected communities which are affected by multiple brownfield sites to work with Contaminated Site Remediation & Redevelopment (“CSRR”) to design and implement remediation and reuse plans for the affected properties simultaneously. Participation in the BDA Program is voluntary and does not affect the application of New Jersey’s other remediation laws, policies, and guidance on properties within a BDA, but does offer incentives to eligible municipalities and redevelopment authorities, including up to $5 million in grants through the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund.
The BDA Program is designed to promote long-term working partnerships between local communities, NJDEP’s Office of Brownfield and Community Revitalization and other interested parties, with the intent of developing and implementing comprehensive plans to transform these blighted sites into community assets. Elligible applicants include those towns, counties, municipalities, redevelopment agencies or authorities, and other public entities authorized to exercise redevelopment powers pursuant to the local redevelopment and housing law at N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-4. CSRR is now accepting new applications for BDA designation through April 30, 2024. Application guidance is available here.
The second program reinstated by CSRR is the TRP, a forum for LSRPs and CSRR staff to address technical disagreements in site remediation. The TRP is designed to promote the expeditious remediation of sites by supplementing the existing Technical Consultation service wherein Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (“LSRPs”) and/or persons responsible for conducting remediation (“PRCRs”) can consult with experienced NJDEP staff to ask site specific technical questions. Where a Technical Consultation results in a disagreement between the LSRP/PRCR and CSRR staff on site specific technical issues that are unable to be resolved, the TRP allows an LSRP/PRCR to request a convening of the TRP. If approved, a panel composed of managers and topic experts will discuss the dispute, conduct research and ultimately issue a decision in writing to the PCRC and LSRP. Notably, the issuance of a decision by the TRP does not constitute a final agency action but is nevertheless a useful resource for PRCRs and LSRPs looking to resolve technical disputes.