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BROWNFIELDS IMPACT FUND


The Brownfields Impact Fund is a pilot program that will provide $800,000 in funding for loans to private developers, and loans and/or grants to public sector and non-profit entities to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites, assisting with the return of these vacant and underutilized properties to public benefit.

PROGRAM DETAILS

Under the Brownfields Impact Fund, the NJEDA will make low-interest loans available to for profit organizations as well as low-interest loans and grant funding available to public sector and non-profit organizations.

These loans/grants will assist with cleanup and other pre-construction activities on brownfield sites throughout the state, particularly those within federally designated Opportunity Zones in the States’ Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) cities. Eligible uses of the loan and/or grant funding includes remediation activities necessary to clean up the release or mitigate the threatened release of hazardous materials and other activities approved by the U.S. EPA and outlined in the program specifications.

For the first three months (90 days) of the program from the date the Authority begins accepting applications, eligibility will be limited to the CCI cities. After the 90 days, the authority will still accept applications from projects located in CCIs. After the 90-day period, the Authority will begin accepting applications from projects located in areas outside of the defined CCI cities, in addition to those located within CCI cities, subject to the availability of funding.

Funds will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis upon receipt of a completed application.

Loans or grants cannot be provided to entities who caused or contributed to the contamination of the property (Responsible Party).

ELIGIBILITY

While funding can be used throughout the State, NJEDA’s Brownfields Impact Fund program will target Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) cities which have high instances of brownfields, poverty, health disparities and need for revitalization. For the first three months of the program, eligibility will be limited to CCI cities.

LOAN APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

Applicable Entities include:

  • For-profit organizations,
  • Nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and other nonprofit organizations as defined at 2 CFR § 200.70 (including Institutes of Higher Education, but excluding 501(c)4) and
  • Units of local government (including County, Regional, and quasi-governmental entities)

Site Control

Potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners (including local government redevelopers) are eligible as follows:

  • Must be able to demonstrate site control or a path to site control of a brownfield property.

Applicant Must:

  • Complete a pre-qualification screening form, identifying site, borrower and /or grantee information to determine project eligibility.
  • Submit a letter of support from the mayor or, if the position of mayor does not exist, from the governing body of the municipality in which the brownfield site is located. The letter of support must indicate that the project aligns with the master land use plan, or the local redevelopment plan, or that no local redevelopment plan exists.
  • Have a plan for the redevelopment of the property.
  • Complete NJEDA legal questionnaire.
  • Have a valid New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate from the NJ Department of the Treasury, Division of Taxation.
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Labor, with all decisions of good standing at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Labor.
  • Be in good standing with DEP with all decisions of good standing at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Be eligible to receive funding under the cooperative agreement for this program between NJEDA and USEPA. Applicants can refer to the USEPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund webpage.

Note: When required by laws that govern borrowing by municipalities, municipalities receiving a Brownfields loan may need Local Finance Board approval.

GRANT ELIGIBILITY

Applicable Entities include:

  • Nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and other nonprofit organizations as defined at 2 CFR § 200.70 (including Institutes of Higher Education, but excluding 501(c)4)
  • Units of local government (including County, Regional, and quasi-governmental entities)

Site Control

Potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners (including local government redevelopers) are eligible as follows:

  • Must own the brownfield property at the time of the application and award of grant.
  • The grantee must retain ownership of the site throughout the period of performance of the grant and must consult with the NJEDA and USEPA Project Officer prior to transferring title or otherwise conveying the real property comprising the site. For the purposes of this agreement, the term “owns” means fee simple title unless NJEDA and USEPA approves a different ownership arrangement.

Applicant Must:

  • Complete a pre-application screening form, identifying site, borrower and /or grantee information to determine project eligibility.
  • Submit a letter of support from the mayor or, if the position of mayor does not exist, from the governing body of the municipality in which the brownfield site is located. The letter of support must indicate that the project aligns with the master land use plan, or the local redevelopment plan, or that no local redevelopment plan exists.
  • Have a plan for the redevelopment of the property.
  • Complete NJEDA legal questionnaire.
  • Have a valid New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate from the NJ Department of the Treasury, Division of Taxation.
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Labor, with all decisions of good standing at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Labor.
  • Be in good standing with DEP with all decisions of good standing at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Be eligible to receive funding under the cooperative agreement for this program between NJEDA and USEPA. Applicants can refer to the USEPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund webpage.

Note: When required by laws that govern borrowing by municipalities, municipalities receiving a Brownfields loan may need Local Finance Board approval.

ELIGIBILE USES

Eligible Activities may include:

  • Preparation of Remedial Action Workplans;
  • Remediation of hazardous substances that are part of a structure (to include lead based paint and asbestos);
  • Construction of a site’s engineered remediation cap which could include foundations/roadways;
  • Demolition of structures to the extent that the demolition is integral to enabling
  • access to contamination needing remediation (must be pre-approved by
  • USEPA);
  • Actions necessary to clean up the release or mitigate the threatened release of hazardous materials such as:
    • provide fences, warning signs or other site control precautions;
    • drainage controls;
    • capping of contaminated soils;
    • excavation, consolidation, or removal of highly contaminated soils;
    • removal of containers that may contain hazardous substances;
    • use of chemicals to retard the spread of hazardous substances;
    • containment, treatment, disposal, or incineration of hazardous materials.
  • Purchase of environmental insurance;
  • Site monitoring, including sampling and analysis, required during the cleanup process;
  • Monitoring and data collection which are required as a component of the cleanup action (including payment of the annual NJDEP remediation permit fees, if approved by USEPA);
  • Installation of engineering and/or institutional controls to fulfill cleanup requirements.
  • Others uses will be considered

INELIGIBILE USES

Ineligible Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-cleanup assessment, identification, and characterization;
  • Cleanup of a naturally occurring substances;
  • Payment of a penalty or fine;
  • Construction, demolition, and development activities that are not integral to cleanup actions;
  • Public or private drinking water supplies that have deteriorated through ordinary use;
  • Monitoring and data collection necessary to apply for, or comply with, environmental permits under other federal and state laws, unless such a permit is required as a component of the cleanup action;
  • Other activities unrelated to the cleanup;
  • Properties already listed as Superfund sites;
  • Any cost incurred prior to loan or grant approval;
  • Any use not approved by NJEDA or USEPA.

Prior to closing, NJEDA will submit loans and grants to USEPA for applicant and site eligibility. Projects that have been approved for grants through other NJEDA programs, including, but not limited to the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) program may eligible for the Brownfield Impact Fund, however the applicant must demonstrate to the Authority that the uses of the funds for the Brownfield Impact Fund are not duplicative of the uses from other NJEDA grants.

Applicants may leverage funding from other federal, state, and/or local grant programs to the extent allowable under USEPA Brownfield RLF grant program rules.

AWARD

Loan
$50,000 to $350,000
Funds to be disbursed upon receipt and review of approved invoices.

Grant
$25,000 to $350,000
Funds to be disbursed upon receipt and review of invoices.
Aggregate of grants are limited to 45% of the total RLF amount

Loan rate

  • Up to a 20-year term based on the remediation and project redevelopment timeframe. No prepayment penalty.
  • Principal and interest will be deferred through the end of Year 4, interest to accrue and capitalize during this period, then the outstanding balance plus capitalized interest to fully amortize for the remaining term (no balloon). Loan interest will be set at 2%, with option for interest rate reductions to a floor of 1%.
  • Bonus Option: Option to reduce interest rate to 1% to incentivize achievement of NJEDA state policy goals, as described below. Project site locations must meet at least two of the following criteria for interest rate reduction to 1%:
    • CCI communities or government restricted municipality
    • Project site located in a municipality ranked as one of the 50 most distressed municipalities per the NJDCA 2017 Municipal Revitalization Index
    • Project site located within an existing Planning Area 1 (Metropolitan) and within a one-half mile radius, with existing bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, to the mid-point of an existing New Jersey Transit Corporation, Port Authority Transit Corporation, or Port Authority Trans- Hudson Corporation rail, bus, or ferry station, including all light rail stations, or a high frequency bus stop as certified by the New Jersey Transit Corporation
    • Project site located in an Opportunity Zone eligible census tract

FEES:

Fee: $1,000*

Loan Modification Fee: $1,000

Loan Closing Fee: 0.875% of the loan

Loan Commitment Fee: 0.875% of the loan

*The NJEDA will waive a grant application fee upon demonstration by the applicant that the imposition of the fee would impose an undue financial hardship.

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Funding will be available on a rolling basis, first come, first served, based on the readiness of the application and the availability of funds.
  • NJEDA will vet eligibility of the project site and eligibility of the applicant based on a brief pre-qualification screening form.
  • Eligible applicants will be invited to complete a full application.
  • Applications will have a 45-business day remedy period (to remedy any open application items and/or supply missing documentation and/or correct any deficiencies).
  • For the initial 90 days after program launch, only applications for projects located in the target 12 Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) communities will be considered. This will prioritize investment in these communities which have high instances of brownfields, poverty, health disparities and need for revitalization. After 90 days, the program will be open throughout the state.
  • Prior to closing, NJEDA will submit loans and grants to USEPA for applicant and site eligibility.

LOAN TERMS

  • Loans will subject to project milestones including project initiation and completion, which will be no later than the term of NJEDA’s Cooperative Agreement with USEPA (term ending 9/30/2025). Should USEPA provide an extension to NJEDA’s Cooperative Agreement, then staff may extend the term of the loan. Timeframes based on the remediation timeline will be established on a project by project basis, including, but not limited to the project start date, number of days for the borrower to submit the first invoice, and additional invoices.
  • Loans are disbursed based on a reimbursement structure for actual eligible costs incurred and provided on an invoice.
  • New Jersey Prevailing Wage/Davis Bacon Act applies to the work which is being funded by this program, including all contracts and subcontracts awarded from funds provided by this program.
    • Each worker employed to perform the remediation funded by this program shall be paid not less than the prevailing wage rate for their craft or trade.
  • All work funded by this loan must comply with federal cross-cutting requirements. These requirements include, but are not limited to, Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) Program which requires six good-faith efforts to procure Minority Business Enterprises/Women Business Enterprises, OSHA Worker Health & Safety Standard, Uniform Relocation Act for the fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of this program, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, permits required by the Clean Water Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, Anti-Kickback Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which provides protections for people with disabilities.

GRANT TERMS

  • Grants will subject to project milestones including project initiation and completion, which will be no later than the term of NJEDA’s Cooperative Agreement with USEPA (term ending 9/30/2025). Should USEPA provide an extension to NJEDA’s Cooperative Agreement, then staff may extend the term of the loan. Timeframes based on the remediation timeline will be established on a project by project basis, including, but not limited to the project start date, number of days for the borrower to submit the first invoice, and additional invoices.
  • Grants are disbursed based on a reimbursement structure for actual eligible costs incurred and provided on an invoice.
  • New Jersey Prevailing Wage/Davis Bacon Act applies to the work which is being funded by this program, including all contracts and subcontracts awarded from funds provided by this program.
    • Each worker employed to perform the remediation funded by this program shall be paid not less than the prevailing wage rate for their craft or trade.
  • All work funded by this loan must comply with federal cross-cutting requirements. These requirements include, but are not limited to, Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) Program which requires six good-faith efforts to procure Minority Business Enterprises/Women Business Enterprises, OSHA Worker Health & Safety Standard, Uniform Relocation Act for the fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of this program, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, permits required by the Clean Water Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, Anti-Kickback Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which provides protections for people with disabilities.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE

Division of Taxation Tax Clearance Certificate required. Certificates may be requested through the State of New Jersey’s Premier Business Services (PBS) portal online.

Under the Tax & Revenue Center, select Tax Services, then select Business Incentive Tax Clearance. If the applicant’s account is in compliance with its tax obligations and no liabilities exist, the Business Incentive Tax Clearance can be printed directly through PBS.

Directions on Securing your Tax Clearance Certificate

Additional information can be found in the Brownfields Impact Fund Board Memorandum.