Energy Conference: Decarbonization - A Business Perspective REGISTER

Seats and desks on the floor of the Assembly Chamber after hours...One of the most successful environmental programs in the country is getting a legislative makeover, and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association wholeheartedly supports it.

The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee is scheduled to vote on A-5293 (Pinkin, Zwicker), which would update programs for cleaning up contaminated properties and bringing them back to economic life.

“This bill represents how the Legislature does its business best,” said NJBIA Vice President for Government Affairs Ray Cantor.

“It is not said enough:  When brownfield sites are cleaned up, the environment and public health are protected, jobs are created, and urban areas thrive,” Cantor said. “When our members undertake brownfield redevelopment, it turns around the lives of all those who live in the areas near these sites.”

The bill would make various amendments to the 10-year-old Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), groundbreaking legislation that has led to the greatest amount of contaminated site cleanups over the shortest period of time in New Jersey history. Specifically, the bill would change some of the direct oversight provisions and make it easier for redevelopers to purchase, clean up, and redevelop these properties.

“Cleaning the environment and creating jobs is one of the most effective means to address environmental justice issues,” Cantor said.

Cantor credited hard work by both the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and legislators for creating and improving such an effective program.

“We particularly want to commend the bill’s primary sponsors, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin in the Assembly and Senator Bob Smith in the Senate,” Cantor said. “This bill was crafted over two years and is the result of countless stakeholder meetings, many lasting most of the day.

“We would also be remiss if we did not acknowledge and thank the professionals in the Department of Environmental Protection who dedicate their professional lives to protecting the environment and helping make these processes work,” Cantor said. “I want to particularly recognize Assistant Commissioner Mark Pederson and his staff for their work in helping to clean up our state and working with our members to revitalize New Jersey.”