White Chemical EPA Five-Year Review

Please note that the EPA is conducting its 5th Five-Year Review of the White Chemical Corporation Superfund Site. It is expected to be completed by the end of March 2017. Information on this site can be viewed at Newark Public Library at 5 Washington Street or at EPA Region 2 Superfund Records Center in New York City. See the public notice below for further details.WCC FYR Notice 12.22 R2 Template

OPZS Logo_Mayor-01

Mayor Baraka Hires Chief Sustainability Officer and Convenes Interdepartmental Team Focused on Making Newark Healthy, Green, and Vibrant

Mayor Ras J. Baraka has hired Nathaly Agosto Filión to serve as the City of Newark’s Chief Sustainability Officer. She will work with representatives from various municipal departments, the Environmental Commission, and members of the Newark community to advance a multi-pronged agenda aimed at making Newark a healthier and greener city.

Read more about this new hire here.

Zoning Amendments

The proposed Zoning Amendments for Short Term Rentals and Inclusionary Zoning will be reviewed by the Central Planning Board at their meeting on December 19, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.; Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street, 2nd Floor Council Chambers. Copies of the proposed Amendments are available here for review.

South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan



South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan Community Meeting Photos

South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan Presentation: Oct. 20, 2016

South Bergen Street – DRAFT Redevelopment Plan – 10.14.2016

South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan Presentation: Sept. 29, 2016

South Ward Stakeholders Contribute to Proposed
Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan at Community Meeting

NEWARK, N.J., October 13, 2016 – Residents, business and property owners and other South Ward stakeholders filled the meeting room at St. John’s Community Baptist Church to participate in the planning process to improve the Bergen Street Corridor between Weequahic Avenue on the southern end and Madison Avenue at the northern end.
The City of Newark, Department of Economic and Housing Development, in cooperation with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) and the Bergen-Lyons-Clinton Special Improvement District (BLCSID), hosted an interactive presentation that invited participants to share their ideas and reactions by talking directly to the team charged with creating the plan and writing their suggestions on schematic drawings that showed possible building configurations, facades, elevations and more.
Their input will be incorporated into the plan, which will be re-presented for final review by the community at a follow-up meeting at St. John’s Community Baptist Church, 1066 Bergen Street, between Lyons & Lehigh Avenues, on Thursday, October 20th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The plan will be presented to the Newark Planning Board, who will then make their recommendation to the Municipal Council. If the Council adopts the plan, the City can enter into negotiations with developers. Event organizers said the goal was to have the plan before the Planning Board in November, with approval by the Council in December. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from developers would follow, with work on the project potentially starting in late 2017.
St. John’s Pastor Phillip Gilmore, who serves as President of the BLCSID, welcomed everyone to the meeting, noting that improvements in the Bergen Street streetscape were long overdue. “The people of this community, residents, business and property owners, are in the same place in their hearts and minds when it comes to a vibrant South Ward that’s as attractive, clean, safe and welcoming as we know it can be,” he added.
Councilman John Sharpe James echoed Pastor Gilmore’s comments, stressing long overdue, and the importance of community input and support regarding needed redevelopment in the South Ward and citywide. Deputy Mayor Baye Adolfo-Wilson thanked community members for their participation and contributions, noting the sense of enthusiasm for the changes and improvements they see in the future as the Bergen Street corridor is redeveloped.
Scott Blow, President & Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC), Mark G. Barksdale, Director of the Department of Economic & Housing Development’s Office of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability, Ronice Bruce, Executive. Director of the BLCSID and representatives of the city’s consultants for the project, Heyer, Gruel & Associates and the Nishuane Group, also contributed to the presentation.
For more information, please call 973-877-9414, or contact Mark G. Barksdale, Director of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability, at 973-877-9414 or via email at BarksdaleM@ci.newark.nj.us.

Vince Baglivo, 201.410.3758

Community Meetings Planned to Discuss Proposed South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan
NEWARK, N.J., September 22, 2016 – Residents, business and property owners and other South Ward stakeholders can participate in the planning process to improve the Bergen Street Corridor between Weequahic Avenue on the southern end and Madison Avenue at the northern end.
The City of Newark, Department of Economic and Housing Development, in cooperation with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) and the Bergen-Lyons-Clinton Special Improvement District (BLCSID), cordially invite you to attend two Community Planning Meetings to provide feedback and comments on the proposed South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan.
The Draft Redevelopment Plan for South Bergen Street will be presented at the meeting on Thursday, September 29th and the redevelopment plan’s details will be finalized at the Thursday, October 20th meeting. Both will be held from 6:30 p.m. ­ 8:30 p.m. at St. John’s Community Baptist Church,1066 Bergen Street, between Lyons & Lehigh Avenues. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, please call please call 973-877-9414, or contact Mark G. Barksdale, Director of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability, at 973-877-9414 or via email at BarksdaleM@ci.newark.nj.us.

Vince Baglivo, 201.410.3758


Newark’s Harvest Garden Tour!

Tobias A. Fox, founder of Newark Science and Sustainability Inc. (Newark SAS), in collaboration with over a dozen gardens and urban farms across Newark, New Jersey, will present Newark’s Harvest Citywide Garden Tour as part of the City’s 350 year celebration. The event will take place from August 15 through August 20. This week long, historical garden tour and present day harvest will provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to become informed about the various agricultural spaces that exist.

This event will serve as a means to encourage healthy eating, healthy living practices, and promote environmental education. Through a series of workshops, presentations, and by reaping the benefits from the harvests of each of the participating spaces, residents will walk away with healthy, locally grown produce and a broader awareness of environmental stewardship.

Click here to download the calendar of events.

To learn more contact organizer Tobias Fox at tobiasfox1@gmail.com or (646) 399-0337.

OPZS Logo_Mayor-01

Newark’s Environmental Justice Ordinance Passes

New Official City of Newark Logo (2014)


Historic legislation tackles environmental injustices and promotes sustainable development

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced on July 15, 2016, a major milestone in urban development and revitalization – New Jersey’s most progressive environmental justice ordinance. The Newark City Council passed bold legislation that requires developers requesting environmental permits to inform the City of any environmental impacts. This information is to be submitted to the City’s Environmental Commission along with the developer’s initial site-plan application so that the Commission can advise the Central Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and the public of any possible “cumulative pollution impacts.”

Typical urban pollution sources are runoff water from buildings, streets and sidewalks, automobile tire wear and exhaust fumes and wind-blowing debris from roofs, road work, sidewalks and undeveloped areas. Advance knowledge of these types of pollutants will assist in the development of a healthy and sustainable city.

“We hope to set a national precedent for urban revitalization that takes into account health impacts,” said Mayor Baraka. “This is an important step forward for environmental justice. The City Council passed innovative environmental legislation to help reduce pollution in our City that not only impacts Newarkers, but protects the health of the hundreds of thousands of children and adults that travel through our streets, airport and seaport. I am glad that we were able to come together as a community and enact change for a more sustainable and vibrant future.”

Newark is subject to a concentrated amount of environmental pollution due to its dense transit network including a major airport and seaport, industrial uses, and waste and sewer treatment facilities. The City is home to the largest trash incinerator in the Northeast and the second largest port in the nation with 7,000 trucks making an estimated 10,000 trips daily. Additionally, school-age children in Newark have double the state and national average rate (25%) for asthma, resulting in missed school days and high medical bills. This ordinance will help move the city in a healthier direction without slowing or impeding economic development.

“This is the first ordinance in the state to address the cumulative impacts of harmful pollutants with such proactive measures,” said Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Baye Adofo-Wilson. “This legislation will bring more equity and justice to our communities that have historically faced environmental health challenges including high levels of asthma. We appreciate the hard work of all advocates who pushed for this legislation, and look forward to working with developers as we implement the process.”

The legislation directs the Newark Environmental Commission to establish a baseline for environmental conditions. It seeks to address the environmental injustices that have led to unhealthy, concentrated levels of pollution in the region’s poorest communities, particularly in Black and Latino neighborhoods. The legislation was drafted and proposed to Newark officials in 2012 by the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and allied organizations, including local groups such as Ironbound Community Corporation, Clean Water Fund, and the Newark Environmental Commission. Over the course of several years, advocates worked with staff and attorneys from the City to produce the final draft. Passage of the ordinance was included as one of the commitments in Mayor Baraka’s transition plan.

“This historic Environmental Justice and Cumulative Impacts ordinance is a reflection of the deep commitment of the residents of this great city and environmental justice advocates from Newark and around the state who worked tirelessly to protect their communities from pollution,” said New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and Newark Environmental Commission Steering Committee Member Dr. Ana Baptista. “The ordinance signals that the City of Newark is a leader in environmental justice and is a step closer toward ensuring that all residents have the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. We hope this tool for better decision-making about environmental stressors in communities of color and low-income communities will serve as a model for other cities throughout New Jersey.”

Newark’s ordinance is different from Camden’s recent such ordinance because Camden’s is voluntary for developers. Camden developers can submit information about the environmental benefits of their projects. They are not compelled to submit anything. And the ordinance does not change anything about the regular land use approval process. There is also no comprehensive checklist in Camden.

Newark’s ordinance is more progressive because it requires industrial and commercial development proposals with environmental permit requirements to submit particular information about cumulative environmental impacts. It gives decision-makers and the public critical information that will allow them to make better decisions about sustainable development.



Youth Farm Stand Comes Back to City Hall!



Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the City of Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing Development, Office of Planning, Zoning and Sustainability welcome back the Greater Newark Conservancy and the Youth Farm Stand to City Hall’s Basement Rotunda today, Friday, October 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This fall, the Youth Farm Stand will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every other Friday through December 16th.

The Youth Farm Stand is a business and entrepreneurial job training program for the Newark Youth Leadership Project interns at the Conservancy. While providing Newark high school students with a meaningful job, the Youth Farm Stand also provides the community with affordable, organic, Newark-grown fruits and vegetables harvested at the Conservancy’s Hawthorne Avenue and Court Street urban farms. They accept WIC, senior vouchers, and SNAP benefits.

Founded in 1987, Greater Newark Conservancy’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities through environmental education, community gardening, urban farming, beautification of neighborhoods, job training opportunities and environmental justice.

Don’t miss it!

OPZS Logo_Mayor-01

Roots of Success Environmental Literacy Textbooks – Seeking Letters of Request

To all interested parties:

The City of Newark Department of Economic & Housing Development’s Division of Planning, Zoning and Sustainability is seeking letters of interest for the use of Roots of Success environmental literacy curriculum textbooks. The City of Newark is in possession of 154 student workbooks and is seeking interested partners to use them to provide environmental literacy and environmental justice training to Newark residents. One hundred twenty four workbooks are aimed at social entrepreneurs. Thirty are available in Spanish and are aimed at a general audience.

Roots of Success is designed to teach environmental literacy while enhancing academic literacy and job readiness skills. Its curriculum can be taught to people with limited proficiency in English, math, science and/or computer skills. The curriculum is divided into six thematic modules, plus an introduction and conclusion – water, waste, transportation, energy, building and food & agriculture. Each module can be taught in four hours. This curriculum requires instructors to be certified through a “train the trainer” workshop offered by Roots of Success. Once trained, it is easy to use. Instructors can use as many or as few of the modules as desired.

Instructors teach the curriculum using a scripted Instructors Manual and DVD that includes visuals and videos. Each student receives a Student Workbook that includes all of the exercises and activities needed for the course. This curriculum is available in both English and Spanish. More information is available at www.rootsofsuccess.org.

Any interested party should provide a one page letter outlining proposed plan for use of books. Letters should also include type and number of books being requested.

Arrangements to receive “train-the-trainer” workshop must be made independently with the Roots of Success organization. Training for instructors is $500 per instructor. It is done via online video conference for smaller groups (1-6) during one 6 hour day, or in person for larger groups (7-15).

Please send a one page Letter of Request to Kate Anderson at AndersonKa@ci.newark.nj.us by Friday, June 17, 2016 to express interest. Letters will be reviewed in the order they are received and workbooks will be distributed to groups with demonstrated capacity to make use of the material.

OPZS Logo_Mayor_Small_Reverse-01

Newark Riverfront Revival Summer 2016 Calendar of Events!















Summer’s upon us, and that means another season of exciting activities and events from Newark Riverfront Revival, providing fun for the whole family!

Events include riverfront yoga, zumba, and capoeira, boat tours, dance parties, open mike events, live music, movie nights, and much, much more!

Get the full listing from the Newark Riverfront Revival webpage, or be sure to check in on the Newark Riverfront Calendar – and get connected with the River!

OPZS Logo_Mayor_Small_Reverse-01