By Eric Peterson

TRENTON, NJ-The New Jersey EDA has taken several steps to speed up the approval process for grants awarded under the state’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation grant and loan program, as well as the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank remediation program. Both are jointly administered by the EDA and the New Jersey DEP.

Chief among the procedural changes cleared by EDA’s board is the delegation of greater power to the authority’s CEO and SVP to approve grant awards up to $100,000 without board approval. The various other changes are similarly aimed at speeding up the approval process.

“These changes will significantly reduce the time it takes for an applicant to receive a final determination on an application for assistance,” says EDA chief executive officer Caren S. Franzini. “We anticipate that processing time will be reduced from what can be as long as 60 days to as little as 10 days.”

To date, more than $112 million has been provided in HDSR grants and low-interest loans for businesses and communities to clean up and subsequently redevelop brownfield properties. Similarly, another $177 million has been made available to clean up, upgrade or close underground storage tanks.

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