Feb 7, 2017

No Shortage of Hot Topics in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast Region

We would like to thank our friends at the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE) Summer of 2016 for the following “front-burner” topics that discuss “stresses on current state funding for brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects (no surprise); the nexus of brownfield redevelopment on combined sewer outfalls (CSOs) in urban centers and managing storm water during and after site development; and the management of fill, reuse of historic fill, and clarification to the Beneficial Use Determination Process.”

The membership of those groups consists of representatives from at least five different states in the region: CT, DE, NJ, NY and PA. They grouped the topics into four major categories:  Technical, Legal, Funding and Other.

This list of hot topics is another example of what BCONE does really well: It brings together experts from throughout the northeastern United States to share experiences about brownfield remediation and redevelopment laws, regulations, policies, successes, and obstacles. 

You see this on display at the annual Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop (NSWC) which consists of panels with participants from at least 3 states in the region comparing and contrasting programs and policies in their individual states.

1.         Methane migration. (PA)

  1. The nexus of BF redevelopment and CSOs in urban centers. (NJ)
  2. PFOS/PFOA. The PADEP will be publishing revisions to its statewide health standards later this month and a new vapor intrusion guidance next month. (PA)
  3. Clean Fill (NJ)
  4. Future for phytoremediation update. Some academics and environmental groups try pushing it, but do not seem to realize the regulatory and technical issues, and the land use opportunity costs of the option. (NJ)
  5. Using brownfields sites in urban communities to restore natural systems (e.g., wetlands, living shorelines, riparian corridors), manage storm water runoff and flooding, and address combine sewer outfalls (CFOs). (NJ)


  1. Continued use of the property by lessees during the site investigation (SI) and use of the property by new developer or tenant prior to completing site remediation. (DE)
  2. Proposed changes to NYS solid waste regulations (Part 360). (NYS, NYC)
  3. Municipal understanding of Spill Act and liability and Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF). (NJ)
  4. Waterfront Development permits and storm water management issues (to avoid going to a CSO). (NJ).   Also a Technical Topic.
  5. PFOS/PFOA. The PA DEP will be publishing revisions to it statewide health standards later this month and a new vapor intrusion guidance next month. Both topics may be of interest to our stakeholders. (PA).    Also a Technical Topic.
  6. The growing disparity between the PADEP’s statewide health standards and management of fill policy. (PA)
  7. Pre-acquisition due diligence efforts by a brownfields developer (use of LSRP vs. non-LSRP). (NJ)
  8. Making the brownfields redeveloper the Primary Permittee on a Remedial Action Permit for Soils (when the proposed brownfields redevelopment project serves as the remedial cap). (NJ)
  9. Phase 1 vs PA/SI is still very misunderstood as a due diligence and liability protection too. (NJ)
  10. LSRP Program (NJ)
  11. For municipal brownfields programs, adapting to changes caused by the requirement for sites to be managed by LSRPs and associated rulemaking. Issues range from municipal procurement processes, client-consultant relationships, reliance on existing work/data/regulatory requirements, reluctance to embrace sensible site closure strategies (in some cases), and the loss of direct relationships between municipalities and NJDEP (although DEP has worked to establish new ties to municipal programs more recently).  Rules that have come about in this timeframe include:  more stringent remediation and other standards complicating (especially) urban projects; and long-term costs associated with sites using engineering and institutional controls.  These issues drive project costs; higher costs put projects in jeopardy, especially in urban areas. (NJ)
  12. Document repository and Open Public Records Act (OPRA) functions under the LSRP program. (NJ)
  13. Revisit the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (ARRCS) rules to make them more favorable for public work. (NJ)

Sustainability of Available Financial Incentives

  1. Due to significant stresses on the DE HSCA fund, will there be funding in the future for the BF program? If funded, will the Delaware Grant amounts be reduced?  Allowable items for reimbursement, will these need to be altered, due to potential changes in funding? (DE)
  2. Funding (NJ)
  3. How can we be more effective in an environment of ever-dwindling public resources? (NJ)
  4. Using Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT) funds creatively for brownfield redevelopment. (NJ)

Article tags: commercial lots, commercial space The Bismarck Tribune, commercial space, Federal Grant, Garrison Area Improvement Association, Keith Witt, sewer infrastructure, U.S. Department of Agriculture

A Mill(ion) Dollar Opportunity

The Bates of Maine Woolen Mill, a former industrial anchor in the city of Lewiston (pop.36, 500) in western Maine, has been transformed into a modern and bustling economic hub following years of city, state, federal, non-profit, private involvement and funding

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