2000 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 10:13:38 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] Water Rules + Brownfields = Smart Growth
To listen to the radio address using Real Audio go to:

Office of the Governor Radio Message 


Topic: Water Rules + Brownfields = Smart Growth

PO BOX 004 
CONTACT: Jayne O'Connor 609-777-2600
Presented: June 23, 2000 

Hello, this is Governor Christie Whitman. I want to talk with you about a
new policy my administration has proposed for protecting our drinking
water. But first let me mention a few exciting projects around the state.

In Perth Amboy, six acres of land that used to be the site of a chemical
plant and a cable-works manufacturing factory lay abandoned for 35 years,
doing no one in New Jersey any good. This land, frankly, was a blight on
the community.

Today that site is abuzz with activity. With help from state and federal
funds, that site has been cleaned up and the buildings on site demolished.
Those acres are going to become the future home of a new campus for the
Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High School.

In the Meadowlands, in an area that was once called Mount Trashmore, the
State is working with a private developer to close four separate landfills
to make room for a 72-hole golf course among other projects. We are, in a
manner of speaking, turning eyesores into par-fours.

Not far from the State House in Trenton is Waterfront Park. Baseball fans
love this beautiful ballpark, which gives families a chance to enjoy a day
in the sunshine on the bank of the Delaware River. Like the other examples
I mentioned a moment ago, this treasure was built on land reclaimed from
ruin - built on an abandoned industrial site called a brownfield.

We in the State of New Jersey have been working hard to make it easier and
more attractive to clean up and reuse brownfield sites, many of which lie
in our cities. I am confident that we will see more and more abandoned
factories return to productive use in cities and towns across the state.

What does this have to do with our proposed new water policy? Everything.

Let me explain. Much of the new development that has been taking place in
our state in recent years has been in rural areas where new sewers or
septic systems have to be added to accommodate it. As more blacktop and
concrete has been poured, we've placed a strain on our water supply's
ability to clean and replenish itself.

Our new policy will require any community that wants to change its current
plan for building sewer systems - or any community that wants to increase
the amount of waste that goes through sewers or septic systems - to analyze
the environmental impact of such a change and report it to the State. 

Just as important, we will require communities to coordinate and integrate
these plans with the State Development and Redevelopment Plan - unless that
development is in an area the State Plan has already targeted for growth.

We wrote this rule proposal because we face a challenge: as the state
continues to develop, we have to make sure we grow smartly. We have to make
sure we leave enough open land to preserve the character of our state and
protect the environment that is so important to our health and quality of

One of the ways we can do that is to protect our water supply by directing
development toward areas where the infrastructure is already in place since
that doesn't unduly stress the land or the water supply.

Hand in hand with that effort, we can look to redevelop lands that previous
generations may have contaminated and that today lie abandoned or unused.
Reclaiming sites like the ones I described earlier is not only going to
help revitalize our cities but also enable us to grow smartly throughout
the state.

We need to invest in our water supply to keep it clean and abundant. Just
as we are investing in open space and farmland to preserve 1 million more
acres, we also need to invest in brownfields and other means of smart
growth. I am confident that making these investments will make New Jersey
an even better place in which to live, work, and raise a family.

Thank you, and have a great week.

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