Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that Shawn LaTourette, New Jersey’s Acting Commissioner of Environmental Protection, toured Bayonne on Monday, April 19.  Mayor Davis welcomed Acting Commissioner LaTourette and staff colleagues from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

During a meeting at the Office of the Mayor, Acting Commissioner LaTourette viewed the plans for the reconstruction of Fitzpatrick Park at the corner of 26th Street and Avenue C.  At the meeting City officials and the NJDEP representatives discussed such issues as extending the waterfront walkway around Bayonne; upgrading Bayonne’s sewer system; taking steps against local flooding; redeveloping former industrial properties; and renovating additional parks.

They also discussed Bayonne’s close relationship with the NJDEP under the department’s Community Collaborative Initiative Program. Mayor Davis explained, “As a result of the Community Collaborative Initiative Program, Alan Miller, a DEP official, has worked at Bayonne 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, the state and local officials walked to Fitzpatrick Park to look at sewer reconstruction that is in progress there.

Following the stop at Fitzpatrick Park, the group drove to the site of the former Texaco refinery by Newark Bay and the Kill Van Kull.  The soil has been undergoing environmental remediation (clean-up), so that the property can be redeveloped.  The tour continued as the group passed Collins Park along First Street, where chromate has been removed from the soil.  The officials drove by Brady’s Dock, and then passed industrial and residential areas in the southeastern corner of Bayonne.  They discussed upcoming redevelopment of former Exxon property on Constable Hook.  After driving up Route 440, the tour group viewed current residential and industrial construction at the former Military Ocean Terminal.  The group 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.

Mayor Davis concluded, “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.”