Development Area (BDA) Process
Since 2002, NJDEP's BDA process has been assisting municipalities
with an aggressive approach toward redeveloping brownfield properties.
NJDEP works with selected communities affected by multiple brownfields
to design and implement remediation and reuse plans for these
properties simultaneously, so that remediation and reuse can occur
in a coordinated fashion. All stakeholders, including owners of
contaminated properties, potentially responsible parties, developers,
community groups, technical experts for the local government and
residents, and residents themselves, will be invited to the table
to participate in this cleanup and revitalization approach.
Several jurisdictions have recognized the need for this type of approach in
urban areas, and in particular, for properties that due to location,
contamination levels, or size have not yet attracted adequate
private funding for remediation or private development attention.
The BDA process provides a framework and resources to empower
affected neighborhoods to address these difficult brownfield where
additional assistance may be needed from all stakeholders, including
developers, property owners and parties potentially responsible
for the cleanup. It is important to note that the purpose of the
BDA designation is to help reuse of these properties. Designation
as a BDA will not affect or limit in any way the utilization or
application of New Jersey's other brownfield or remediation programs
on properties within a BDA. In addition, designation as a BDA
does not create or impose any additional regulatory or approval
requirements on properties within the BDA.
BDA Planning Step 1: Obtaining Baseline
Environmental and Ownership Information on Brownfields within
The overall objective of the BDA designation is to assist the
Steering Committee in developing and implementing comprehensive
plans for the coordinated remediation and redevelopment of the
brownfield sites within the BDA. The planning process must begin
with the collection of necessary baseline environmental information,
including known or suspected contamination, permitted and current
land uses, any land use plans within the BDA and a characterization
of properties adjacent to the BDA. This type of information is
obtained during the conduct of the PA. Following the Initial Meeting,
a Preliminary Assessment (PA) and, if necessary, a Site Investigation
(SI), will be conducted for every brownfield site within the BDA.
Depending on the circumstances, the PAs and/or SIs may be conducted
by private consultants hired by the owners or operators of the
brownfield properties, the developer or the municipality, or in
limited instances, a PA or SI may be conducted by NJDEP staff.
Under certain circumstances, Federal and/or State grants or other
financial assistance may be available.
BDA Planning Step 2: Preliminary Planning Meeting
Following a review of the PA/SIs and the baseline information, NJDEP
staff, state planning experts and the Steering Committee will hold a Preliminary
Planning Meeting to generate ideas for remediation and reuse of the brownfield
sites within the BDA. This session will be a preliminary step to developing
a full plan and will focus on reuse alternatives informed by the environmental
information contained in the PA/SIs, including level of cleanup required
for each of the sites. The Preliminary Planning Meeting will also include
a description of the regulatory process associated with various redevelopment
options for these sites.
BDA Planning Step 3: Baseline Resources Identification
Meeting to Identify Resources Potentially Available for Remediation and
Reuse of Brownfields within the BDA
Following the Preliminary Planning Meeting, NJDEP, the Steering Committee
and other involved agencies will hold a Baseline Resources Identification
Meeting to identify resources available to complete the necessary investigation,
remediation and reuse of brownfields within the BDA. These investigation,
remediation and reuse resources will be site-specific and may include,
for example, potentially responsible parties (including present and former
owners) identified through the PA/SI process, or entities with expressed
or potential development interest in specific parcels. If property owners,
operators and other parties potentially responsible for cleanup or costs
have been active participants in the process to this point, the Steering
Committee may be well on its way to completing the remediation. Where
potentially responsible parties have been identified, NJDEP will agree
to exercise its enforcement authorities if necessary to ensure that responsible
parties not impede remediation and reuse of the BDA. Additional resources
may include federal, state, county or private grants and loans.
During the Baseline Resources Identification Meeting, charts will be
prepared for each brownfield property specifying the resources actually
or potentially available for remediation and/or reuse of that property.
These charts will be expanded over time as additional resources are identified.
BDA Planning Step 4: Creation of BDA Remediation
and Reuse Plan
Following the Baseline Resources Identification Meeting, the Steering
Committee will develop a BDA Remediation and Reuse Plan. This Plan will
reflect substantial private party and public input on a comprehensive
vision for the BDA, including both brownfield and non-brownfield properties.
It may rely on pre-existing planning efforts, as long as it is demonstrated
that the overall BDA Remediation and Reuse Plan reflects community participation.
The NJDEP Project Manager will work with the Steering Committee and any
retained planner to develop a comprehensive investigation and remediation
schedule that best accommodates the planned reuse, and that maximizes
efficiency of remediating all identified brownfields comprehensively and
with reuse plans in mind. In appropriate circumstances, NJDEP will apply
innovative approaches in BDAs that suffer from ubiquitous groundwater
contamination from multiple, indistinguishable sources.
BDA Planning Step 5: Creating a Path to Success:
Strategic Plan Meeting and Subsequent Meetings
After completion of the BDA Remediation and Reuse Plan, NJDEP and other
involved agencies will meet with the Steering Committee and its technical
and/or planning advisors for a Strategic Plan Meeting to establish a "critical
path" to implement the Plan. The critical path will establish site-specific
timelines for remediation and marshal identified resources for implementation
of the Remediation and Reuse Plan. Again, the Committee that has active
participation from property owners, operators and other parties potentially
responsible for cleanups or costs may be well along this path by this
The Strategic Plan Meeting should include all State departments and agencies
necessary to advance the Remediation and Reuse Plan. These would include,
as appropriate, members of NJDEP's One Stop Permitting Program, who will
identify key milestones for permitting activities associated with the
reuse of each site. Staff from other relevant NJDEP areas, such as the
Green Acres Program, the Land Use Regulation Program, and others will
be part of the Strategic Plan Meeting.
Thereafter, on an ongoing basis, both the BDA Project Manager and staff
from other key State programs will assist the Steering Committee in procuring
and applying the identified resources and coordinating with other involved
agencies to fully implement the BDA Remediation and Reuse Plan. Each year
the progress of the BDA will be evaluated, and the MOU among NJDEP, the
Steering Committee and the Municipality will be renewed only upon a showing
of adequate progress.