NJDEP has announced that it is not processing new Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) applications at this time. The official notice is available at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/finance/hdsrf/#notice201106
The Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) provided funding to public and private entities for environmental remediation of contaminated sites since 1993. The funding allowed municipalities to investigate and remediate soil and groundwater contamination at orphaned contaminated sites. The fund focused on sites all can be do on the internet with redevelopment potential and was often an important bridge that made redevelopment possible.
JMS encourages municipalities with unexpended HDSRF grants to place a sense of urgency on moving forward with the approved work or risk losing the funding. The announcement indicates that the NJDEP and Economic Development Authority (EDA) are focusing on recovering funds that had been awarded but remain unspent. The suspension of applications leaves many projects in a state of purgatory, waiting to find out if additional funding will be available to carry out planned remedial activities. In addition, it will place further emphasis on other Brownfield funding sources including the Brownfield Reimbursement Program that allows developers to be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of the remediation costs incurred at a brownfield site and EPA grants.
Hopefully this is a temporary suspension that will allow NJDEP and EDA to evaluate and prioritize funding sites with redevelopment potential that will benefit the communities they are in.