TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph F. Vitale and Jim Whelan which would authorize the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to offer zero-interest loans to local governments to help pay for the cleanup of brownfield properties within their borders was unanimously approved yesterday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“At a time when municipalities are forced to do more with less money, we must maintain environmental clean up as a priority and not allow these projects to fall by the wayside,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “By offering zero-interest loans to assist in cleaning up abandoned and contaminated properties, we can help local governments to improve blighted areas in their communities and put them back to use for local residents.”
“Redevelopment is essential for the economic well-being of urban and industrial communities, but polluted sites and brownfield properties remain an obstacle to community improvements by attaching a stigma to neighborhoods and disincentivizing builders and developers from investing in projects on or near hazardous waste and brownfield sites,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “By providing the capital needed to remediate and eventually reuse the property, New Jersey can encourage further development that could reenergize communities.”