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An Inter-Agency Partnership:
Helping Communities in New Jersey

The Federal Brownfields Inter-Agency Work Group for New York and New Jersey is comprised of local representatives from over 14 federal and state agencies. The goal of this work group is to help local communities access resources that will assist them in the redevelopment of brownfield sites and, in the process, promote ultimate goals of reviving communities and preserving open space. A brownfield is an industrial site that has actual or perceived contamination and a real potential for redevelopment. Given that many complex environmental, economic and social concerns may exist in the communities surrounding such sites, this partnership has been especially effective. It provides a forum for communities to discuss their development goals and proceed on the road to achieving those goals in a fashion that is more integrated and complete.

The work group, formed under the United State's Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/index.html), makes the brownfields redevelopment process more effective through a coordination of agency efforts and resources. The work group holds monthly meetings at which local communities with brownfields issues present their plans and discuss how best to match federal and other resources. Topics discussed have included: economic and housing development, open spaces, business development, job training, infrastructure needs, financing and integrated planning.

Since 1998 the work group has met with more than 30 communities in New York and New Jersey. In New Jersey, the City of Trenton is a Brownfields Showcase Community that has provided valuable advice to other municipalities. Trenton is currently working on more than 30 sites with potential for reuse, and has already redeveloped or cleaned 30 sites in the city. One such site has been successfully redeveloped with a new shopping center and office building, and has generated over 400 jobs. Across the state, the work group has assisted over 20 brownfields pilot communities.

HUD participates in this inter-agency work group and contributes information on a number of important economic development programs.

Content Archived: March 07, 2011

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