By Colleen Kokas, Environmental Liability Transfer
BCONE hosted its quarterly Environmental Regulatory Roundtable at the Skylark in Edison over coffee and a hearty breakfast. Here is an overview of the topics discussed on that early Tuesday morning.
EDA Brownfield Initiatives
Brownfield Center. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board of Directors today approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to establish the NJ Brownfields Center at NJIT (Brownfields Center). The Brownfields Center will provide a variety of technical assistance and resources to assist New Jersey communities with the process of transforming their brownfield sites into community assets.
The Brownfields Center at NJIT will expand upon these efforts to offer similar assistance to communities beyond the twelve CCI municipalities, as well as providing additional tools to all brownfield communities in New Jersey. The Center will provide guidance and resources to county and local government entities to help them overcome challenges and navigate the brownfield redevelopment process, as well as educate and engage communities around brownfield issues. Under the terms of the agreement approved today, the NJEDA will provide $200,000 to launch the Brownfields Center and NJIT will provide quarterly updates on the use of funds and progress in communities receiving assistance.
Brownfield Loans. NJEDA is creating a Brownfields Loan Program to provide financing to potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners (including local government redevelopers) that intend to develop commercial, retail, mixed-use developments, expansions or reuses. The foundation for creating this loan program is that financial resources are hard to obtain for certain activities, such as demolition. This fund is anticipated to fill that void.
Parties responsible for contamination of brownfield site, related to party responsible for contamination of brownfield site, or parties that have indemnified a responsible party or a party related to a responsible party are not eligible for the Brownfields Loan Program.
NJBIA Environment & Energy Committee Meeting
Some BCONE members attended a recent meeting of the NJ Business and Industry Association’s Environment and Energy Policy Committee. An overview was provided of the many activities that are underway as a result of the issuance of the Energy Master Plan.
Energy Master Plan. The Energy Master Plan was released on January 27, 2020, and outlines key strategies to reach the Administration’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The details of how to reach that goal will be further defined by subsequent executive and administrative order, regulations and guidance.
Executive Order 100. Governor Murphy signed EO 100 to direct the advancement of the initiatives in the Energy Master Plan. NJDEP is required to institute regulatory reforms, branded as Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT), to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. With this executive action, New Jersey is the first state in the nation to pursue such a comprehensive and aggressive suite of climate change regulation.
PACT. There are a number of specific tasks for NJDEP to complete within specified timeframes, including:
- A greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting program to identify all significant sources of GHG emissions;
- Establish criteria to reduce certain short-lived carbon dioxide emissions, such as hydroflorocarbons, black carbon and methane;
- Integrate climate change considerations, such as sea level rise into its regulatory and permitting programs;
- Identification (through Administrative Order) of regulations that require updates;
Administrative Order 2020-01. In January 2020, NJDEP Commissioner McCabe signed an administrative order that provides an overview of the tasks the Department will be taking in its efforts to meet the clean energy goals of the EMP. AO 2020-01 primarily identified timeframes within which the activities outlined in above would be completed. Of note in AO 2020-01 is the completion to incorporate climate change considerations into all relevant grant, loan and contracting programs implemented by the Department by January 27, 2021.
To keep abreast of all the work underway to achieve the goals established by PACT, including numerous stakeholder meetings, NJDEP has established a website at https://www.nj.gov/dep/njpact.
Amendments to A-901 Program
A recent bill (S-1683) was passed in January 2020, that requires licensure of those that engage in, or that otherwise provide recycled soil and fill recycling services. On the surface, it may appear that this may not impact you. But the legislation is far reaching. “Soil and fill recycling services” is defined as “the collection, transportation, processing, brokering, storage, purchase, sale or disposition of soil and fill recyclable material.” “Soil and fill recycling services materials” is defined as “non-putrescible aggregate substitutes,” such as “broken or crushed brick, block, concrete, or other similar manufactured materials; soil or soil that may contain aggregate substitute or other debris or material, generated from land clearing, excavation, demolition, or redevelopment activities that would otherwise be managed as solid waste, and that may be returned to the economic mainstream in the form of raw materials for further processing or for use as fill material.”
“Soil and fill recyclable materials” does not include: (1) Class A recyclable material; (2) Class B recyclable material, that is shipped to a Class B recycling center approved by the DEP for receipt, storage, processing, or transfer; (3) beneficial use material for which the generator has obtained prior approval from the DEP to transport to an approved and designated destination, and (4) virgin quarry products including, but not limited to, rock, stone, gravel, sand, clay and other mined products.
Now it’s up to you to determine whether this applies to the work you conduct. If you think you may be effected, you must register your business with NJDEP by April 20, 2020. The registration will be followed by a lengthy licensing process that could begin as early as October 2020. To register, go to https://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/a901/a901frms.htm
For the full language of the bill, go to https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/AL19/397_.PDF