State officials, along with Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, gathered at the Great Falls Visitor Center yesterday to launch the Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) program in the city.
The CCI program embeds Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff at the ground-level within communities, where they use their expertise to help local leaders address environmental concerns. The NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) recently partnered with the NJDEP to expand the program into five new communities, including Paterson. The CCI representative in Paterson will help city leadership overcome obstacles and open pathways for the successful remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites, including the Allied Textile Printing (ATP) site and Hinchcliffe Stadium.
The CCI program has a strong track record of success in the communities where it has been operating: Bayonne, Camden, Perth Amboy and Trenton. In Camden, CCI staff collaborated with local leaders and DEP experts to jumpstart the process of transforming a 61-acre landfill into restored shoreline and uplands, with improvements such as the creation of new tidal wetlands and recreational amenities for residents. CCI has had similar success in Perth Amboy, where embedded staff facilitated the launch of a project to clean up a 6-acre scrap heap and build a new park on the site. In Trenton, CCI staff helped to advance the development of the Assunpink Greenway Park – a 99-acre redevelopment project that will include soccer fields, a waterfront walk and other amenities.
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