Funding Available for Site Remediation in New Jersey

On December 18, 2013, Susanne Peticolas, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, moderated a panel, “There May Be Money for Your Client for Site Remediation,” sponsored by the New Jersey Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section. The program focused on the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (“HDSRF”). Michael Deely, Supervisor for NJDEP’s HDSRF program, cheered the audience by reporting that the long depleted fund once again has money for site remediation grants and loans.

Created in 1993, the HDRSF offers grants and loans to eligible public entities, private parties, and non-profit organizations. The funds can be used for preliminary assessments, site and remedial investigations, and remedial actions. Eligibility for assistance varies and applicants must meet the applicable special conditions. Grants and loans are subject to award caps.

The program is jointly administered by the NJDEP’s Office of Brownfield Reuse and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”). The NJDEP provides administrative review of applications, proposals and cost estimates, and makes a recommendation to the NJEDA. The NJEDA provides financial review, board approval and closing documents. There are separate application forms for each agency process. The NJDEP’s application form was recently updated to reflect the role of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional.

According to Mr. Deely, there are approximately 270 applications pending from 2010 to the present and there is a current balance in the fund of $56 million. Applications involving areas of Immediate Environmental Concern are given priority in the review process. Mr. Deely’s presentation is available here.

Gibbons routinely assists clients with state incentives including the HDSRF. Parties facing remediation responsibilities should investigate whether they are eligible for these grants and loans. Paul St. Onge, a Director in the Gibbons Government Affairs Department, can provide additional information and support on eligibility and the application process.

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