The Dollars and Cents of Health & Safety Programs

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Introduces a Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Program

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has released details of their $300 million tax credit program designed to incentivize brownfields redevelopment and encourage long-term investment into the State, while remediating and redeveloping underutilized properties.

The proposed Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Program tax credits will be awarded via competitive application process and must meet certain eligibility requirements. The program will have awards:

  • Up to 50 percent of remediation costs for eligible properties, up to a maximum of $4 Million
  • Up to 60 percent of remediation costs for qualified properties located in a Government Restricted Municipality or a Qualified Incentive Tract, up to a maximum of $8 Million

Eligibility Requirements

  • Project site is a brownfield
  • Letter of support from the governing body
  • Without the tax credit award, the project is not economically feasible
  • Project financing gap exists, and the tax credit being considered for the project is equal or less than the project financing gap
  • Prevailing wage required
  • Remediation has NOT commenced, unless the full extent of contamination is not known
  • NOT in any way responsible or liable for the contamination
  • Remediation costs are reasonable and appropriate
  • This will be reviewed by DEP prior to Board Approval

Brownfield Site

The program defines “Brownfield site” or “contaminated site” as any former or current commercial or industrial site that is currently vacant or underutilized and on which there has been, or there is suspected to have been, a discharge of a contaminant or on which there is contaminated building material.

Applicant must demonstrate at time of application that without the tax credit, the proposed project is not economically feasible.

Commencement of the Remediation

If an applicant has started clean-up activities prior to application, the applicant must certify that they could not reasonably have known the full extent of the site contamination before starting the remediation. Assessment and Investigation activities are exempt from this requirement.

Prior Environmental Assessment and Investigation up to 24 months prior to application may be eligible for inclusion in the program.

The applicant shall certify that they are not in any way responsible or liable for the discharge and are not a corporate successor to the discharger. Unfortunately, current property owners, with limited exceptions, will likely not be eligible for the program due to the NJ Spill Act.

Remediation Costs are Reasonable and Appropriate

The applicant will provide a remediation cost estimate for the project including a breakdown of total cost of remediation. NJDEP will review proposed costs to determine if costs are eligible to the program and complete a cost reasonableness determination prior to NJEDA board approval.

Remediation costs” means all reasonable costs associated with the remediation of a contaminated site except: cost of acquisition of the property any costs incurred in financing the remediation, legal fees, incentive consultant fees and Authority fees. Remediation costs may include required DEP site remediation program fees and other DEP permit fees. Remediation costs shall not include payment for penalties or violations.

Only remediation costs are eligible for the tax credit under this program. Vertical construction costs (which are not part of the remediation) are not eligible.

Eligible Activities

 

  • Soil and groundwater investigation
  • Site remediation
  • Hazardous materials assessment and survey
  • Hazardous materials or waste disposal
  • Building and structural issues, including:
    − Demolition− Asbestos abatement
    − PCB removal
    − Contaminated wood or paint removal
    − Other infrastructure remedial activities

For more information and to provide comments to NJEDA visit the program’s public feedback page.

How Can Equity Environmental Engineering Help?

Equity Environmental can help guide you through the Brownfield process, from land use and planning and preliminary assessment through the clean up process, contact us today and tell us about your project and we will get back to you and discuss your project.

Equity Environmental Engineering is an award winning firm with offices in New Jersey and New York.

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