The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) board approved the creation of a competitive Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive (BRI) Program. The BRI Program, which will provide a total of $300 million in incentive funding over six years, is designed to support remediation costs and incentivize developers of redevelopment projects to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites throughout the state, bringing these sites back into productive reuse as an integral part of community development.
Established by the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), awards of up to 50% of remediation costs will be available for eligible brownfield sites, up to a maximum of $4 million. In keeping with the Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision for inclusive economic growth, Brownfield sites in a Government Restricted Municipality or Qualified Incentive Tract may be eligible for up to 60% of rehabilitation costs, up to a maximum of $8 million. Awards are scored on a competitive basis.
“The Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Program will allow for the redevelopment of long-vacant and abandoned properties, helping to foster economic development throughout the state,” said Murphy. “This program will open the door for new developments that will bring jobs and improve the environment in underserved communities that have been disproportionately affected by past pollution.”
Tax credits will be awarded through a competitive application process, which is set to open in upcoming months, to ensure the best projects receive state support. The NJEDA has partnered with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to create evaluation criteria for a competitive application process. To receive tax credits through the program, the developer must demonstrate that a financing gap exists. Parties that are in any way responsible or liable for the site contamination are not eligible for the program.
“Supporting the transformation of brownfields from hazardous sites into community assets that spur economic development and job creation is vital to our efforts to advance environmental justice in New Jersey,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “By taking a contaminated brownfield property and carefully remediating the site, the Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Program will address community redevelopment in a sustainable way while supporting Gov. Murphy’s efforts to improve New Jersey residents’ quality of life.”
“The Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Program can unlock vast untapped economic potential contaminated sites can have after they have been effectively rehabilitated,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.
Eligible costs include soil and groundwater investigation, site remediation, hazardous materials assessment and survey, hazardous materials or waste disposal, infrastructure remedial activities (fences, warning signs, site control, and drainage control), and building and structural issues for demolition, asbestos removal, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) removal, contaminated wood, or paint removal. Tax credits awarded through this program may not be used for the acquisition of the brownfield property, financing of the property, legal fees, Authority fees, and/or penalty or violation fees.
The Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Program is part of a suite of solutions, including the Brownfields Loan Program and the Brownfields Impact Fund, designed to support development that transforms underutilized and contaminated spaces into community assets, with the goal of achieving a greener New Jersey. This includes ensuring that residents living in communities that have historically suffered from disinvestment, environmental contamination, and health disparities benefit from brownfields redevelopment.
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