PSE&G receives Smart Growth Leadership Award
Smart Growth Awards Category: Smart Growth Leadership Award
To Public Service Electric and Gas Company for its ongoing commitment to redevelopment and community building in New Jersey’s cities, its leadership in natural resource protection initiatives, and its support for smarter growth statewide.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has been a part of New Jersey since 1903 when it was formed as the Public Service Corporation following the amalgamation of more than 400 gas, electric and transportation companies. Today, the company provides essential utility services to nearly three quarters of the state’s population. Support for Smart Growth flows naturally from PSEG’s longstanding commitment to the people and state of New Jersey.
PSE&G’s smart growth leadership can be categorized under three complementary approaches: its business activities to promote economic development; its comprehensive corporate stewardship activities to protect the environment; and its Urban Initiatives to strengthen communities.
For many years, PSE&G has supported economic development in New Jersey by helping businesses expand in, and relocate to, the state. The utility works closely with public and private sector organizations and leaders to leverage the state’s economic strengths and help New Jersey thrive and prosper.
To enhance the environment as well as revitalize cities, PSE&G has worked closely with other New Jersey stakeholders to promote Smart Growth initiatives such as brownfield redevelopment. In keeping with the principles of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan (SDRP), PSE&G has encouraged growth in areas where there is existing infrastructure and fostered constructive approaches to limit sprawl. Similarly, the company has supported groundwater, surface water and soil remediation standards to protect the environment.
PSE&G is currently working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to investigate and remediate 38 manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites throughout the state, mostly in urban areas. The goals of the program are to eliminate potential impacts on public health and natural resources from historic operations; to enable brownfield development and return the sites to viable economic use in an expedited manner.
When Princeton Borough, one of tonight’s honorees, sought to redevelop a parcel in downtown Princeton that contained a manufactured gas plant, PSE&G met the schedule of the developers by removing former subsurface structures and excavating more than 75,000 tons of soil and debris. The expedited project started in the summer of 2002 and finished on schedule in February of 2003. Other MGP sites are in differing stages of rehabilitation: a site in Paterson is being prepared for lease for commercial or light industrial use; a site in Burlington is now a Walgreen’s Pharmacy; one in Riverton has been remediated and returned to residential use; and a Morristown site has been remediated with plans for either low-income housing or commercial redevelopment.
As a statewide stakeholder, PSE&G participated in three regional planning efforts in helping to develop management plans in the Highlands, Pinelands and Meadowlands. PSE&G worked to ensure the plans included the land uses necessary to provide reliable energy services in those areas. The company also worked to develop best management practices that are protective of critical habitat and are incorporated into the utility’s right of way vegetation management program.
PSE&G also invests in natural resource conservation and preservation. Since the early 1990’s, PSE&G has either chaired or supported every statewide campaign for open space funding. In particular, in 1998, PSE&G co-chaired and underwrote the state’s most comprehensive campaign resulting in the dedication of almost $3 billion over thirty years as a stable source of funding for open space preservation. PSE&G also supports environmental protection by investing in the non-profits working on water, land and other environmental issues in the state.
PSE&G anchors many Smart Growth projects to strengthen communities. The Urban League of Hudson County, a previous Smart Growth Award honoree, turned to PSE&G to enhance the power infrastructure in Jersey City which allowed the Urban League to complete the development of its new headquarters as a modern, technologically sophisticated structure.
Since 1996, PSE&G has maintained a highly successful Strategic Urban Development program as part of its community commitment. The Urban Development team develops and implements programs that enhance economic development, quality of life, transportation, education, environmental quality and housing for residents and businesses operating in the State’s urban areas. Through this program, PSE&G has developed partnerships in Trenton, Camden and the South Ward area of Newark. These partnerships are all designed to help poorer communities by providing educational opportunities and revitalizing neighborhoods.
PSE&G was a founding member of the Newark Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works with public, private and civic organizations to make Newark a better, safer place to work, live, learn, play and do business. It does so by building initiatives and fostering partnerships to advance education and economic development across a broad base.
Through its economic development policies, its environmental stewardship and philanthropy, PSE&G has demonstrated that Smart Growth provides a better way to grow for New Jersey. PSE&G will remain dedicated to working on a broad range of fronts to ensure a bright future for New Jersey and its residents.