Environmental Implications of the Gallenthin Realty Blight Condemnation Case:

Jonathan is absolutely right to point to the environmental implications of the Gallenthin Realty case, discussed in his and my recent posts (linked below). I would add that much of the land that the Borough of Paulsboro sought to condemn in order to make it part of a "redevelopment" project, was in fact being used for environmental and conservation purposes. According to the New Jersey Supreme Court opinion, most of the property consisted of "undeveloped wetlands" that had been designated as protected wetlands by the state Department of Environmental Protection. In addition:

Gallenthin [the owner] leased portions of the property to an environmental clean-up organization, Clean Ventures, in 1997 and 1998. Clean Ventures used the property for river access, employee parking,and storage. Additionally, since 1997, a wild-growing reed, phragmites australis (phragmites), has been harvested from the Gallenthin property three times a year. The reed can be used as cattle feed and, according to plaintiffs, is recognized by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a valuable plant species that actively neutralizes soil pollutants.