ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UP BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE

A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph F. Vitale and Jim Whelan which would authorize the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to offer zero-interest loans to local governments to help pay for the cleanup of brownfield properties within their borders was unanimously approved yesterday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The bill, S-2278, would authorize the EDA to provide zero-interest loans to municipalities, counties or redevelopment entities for up to 25 percent of the total cost of a remedial action in a brownfield redevelopment site.  The loans would have to be paid back in ten years, and priority status for EDA financial assistance would be given to sites in brownfield redevelopment areas that are municipally-owned and will be re-mediated with a public entity developer.  The funds for the zero-interest loans would come from the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund, and would not require additional funding beyond the annual amount included in the fiscal year budget. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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