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Coughlin Bill to Change Priority Ranking of Environmental Clean-Up Loans Heads to Governor's Desk
(TRENTON) -- A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin that would change the priority ranking of state funding for brownfield redevelopment projects recently received final legislative approval, unanimously passing both the Senate and the Assembly.
The measure (A-2395) would change the priority of grants awarded by the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) from its Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) and also would add new priority categories.
"In the current economic environment, with municipal budgets everywhere challenged to find funding to address environmental hazards, it is important to give towns the assistance they need to get things done," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex), whose 19th Legislative District includes four sites totaling nearly 1,000 acres that would qualify for funding under this bill. "Doing so isn't just good for the environment, it's good for our economy as well."
As determined by the DEP, a "brownfield development area" is any area in the state that contains at least two brownfield sites, is a discreet neighborhood and has community support for its potential remediation and redevelopment. The HDSRF provides loans and grants to municipalities, funded through a constitutionally dedicated portion of the state's corporation business tax, to help remediate and redevelop brownfields. In fiscal year 2011, $25.8 million was set aside for this purpose.
Under Coughlin's bill:
The bill now heads to the governor, who may sign it, veto it or modify it through his power of conditional veto.
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