Last week, Shawn LaTourette, New Jersey’s Acting Commissioner of Environmental Protection, toured Bayonne on Monday, April 19. We welcomed Acting Commissioner LaTourette and staff colleagues from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
During a meeting in my office, Acting Commissioner LaTourette viewed plans for the reconstruction of Fitzpatrick Park at the corner of 26th Street and Avenue C. City officials and the NJDEP representatives discussed extending the waterfront walkway around Bayonne; upgrading Bayonne’s sewer system; taking steps against flooding; redeveloping former industrial properties; and renovating additional parks.
We also discussed Bayonne’s close relationship with the NJDEP under the department’s Community Collaborative Initiative. As a result of that program, Alan Miller, a DEP official, has worked at City Hall three days a week since 2018. Alan has helped us to expedite solutions to a variety of concerns. Instead of sending problems to an office in Trenton, we have had Alan right here to respond immediately to our questions and proposals. We want to thank the NJDEP for this outstanding program, and hope that it will continue into the future.
After the meeting, we walked to Fitzpatrick Park to look at sewer reconstruction that is in progress there.
After Fitzpatrick Park, we drove to the site of the former Texaco refinery by Newark Bay and the Kill Van Kull. The soil has been undergoing environmental clean-up, so that the property can be redeveloped. The tour continued as we passed Collins Park along First Street, where chromate has been removed from the soil. We drove by Brady’s Dock, and then passed industrial and residential areas in the southeastern corner of Bayonne. We discussed upcoming redevelopment of former Exxon property on Constable Hook. After driving up Route 440, we viewed residential and industrial construction at the former Military Ocean Terminal. We discussed the expected construction of two pedestrian bridges: one across Route 440 at 34th Street, and another between the South Cove shopping center and the former Military Ocean Terminal.
The tour for Acting Commissioner LaTourette concluded with a visit to the September 11 memorial at the eastern end of the former Military Ocean Terminal.
I would like to thank Acting Commissioner LaTourette and his team for spending time in Bayonne to learn about local projects, needs, and concerns. We look forward to continuing our close relationship with the NJDEP. Together, we can find ways to address our environmental concerns while making economic progress in Bayonne.