TRENTON, NJ - Paterson is set to be added to a list of New Jersey municipalities benefiting from a state-led program that provides “ground-level” support for brownfields redevelopment and urban revitalization efforts.

According to a statement by the New Jersey Economic Development  Authority (NJEDA), the Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) embeds Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff to provide a more direct connection to the necessary expertise that will enable communities to address environmental concerns effectively and appropriately.

“Building a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy requires taking an innovative approach to community revitalization that acknowledges economic prosperity and environmental sustainability are not competing goals but mutually reinforcing ideals,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “CCI has already made significant progress toward achieving both of these goals by working with local leaders to protect the environment and transform dangerous eyesores into valued community assets.”

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By making this expertise more easily accessible in targeted communities where multiple environmental stressors exist, the statement continues, the initiative fosters the communication, relationships, and insights necessary to open pathways to successful remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites. 

Previous Story: An 'Obstacle to Redevelopment for Too Long' to Make Way for 'Bold and Innovative' Project in City's Third Ward

"Paterson's industrial past has contributed to our city's storied history, and will also lead the way to an even stronger future," Mayor Andre Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson when asked about the initiative. “Revitalizing Paterson will continue to be a team effort and we are going to engage with anyone interested in writing the next chapter of our city’s history."

"Once again I offer Paterson's gratitude to and thank Governor Murphy and his team in Trenton for having our back.”

“The Community Collaborative Initiative exemplifies Governor Murphy’s commitment to revitalizing New Jersey’s communities in a way that puts environmental sustainability front and center and remains true to residents’ priorities,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe.

CCI is already producing impressive results, state officials said, pointing to a project in Camden where appointed staff collaborated with local leaders and DEP experts to jumpstart the process of transforming a 61-acre landfill into restored shoreline and uplands, with improvements such as the creation of new tidal wetlands, recreational amenities for residents, and a solar field. Other examples of success, the statement continues, can be seen in Perth Amboy, Trenton, and Bayonne.

“The program has already been a tremendous success, with significant benefits for New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations. We are excited to collaborate with the NJEDA to replicate this success around the state,” McCabe added.

“Governor Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy focuses on making smart, targeted investments in our communities in a way that recognizes each of their unique assets and challenges,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of the NJEDA. “With this expanded partnership, DEP and the EDA will be able to help more cities and towns throughout the state do the long-term planning necessary to remediate and redevelop brownfields. We are thrilled to be partnering with Commissioner McCabe and her team on this comprehensive approach to tackling longstanding environmental and economic challenges.”

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