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Paterson to Benefit from Part of $6.5 Million in EPA Brownfields-Specific Funding Going to New Jersey Communities

22 Jun 2022 1:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Contact Information: John Senn, 212-637-3662, senn.john@epa.gov

NEW YORK (June 21, 2022) – Paterson, N.J. will benefit from the more than $250 million in funding recently awarded across the country to 265 communities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia was joined today by U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh and New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Tim Sullivan to highlight the important work to be conducted in Paterson, N.J. using part of this funding. New Jersey communities received about $6.5 of that money, including a $2 million grant to New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to be used in communities like Paterson, N.J. The funding is in part from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties.

NJEDA is receiving a $2 million grant to assess 73 contaminated sites in communities throughout the state. Brownfield sites in the 13 municipalities designated as high priority by the State of New Jersey due to historic disinvestment will be prioritized for work under this grant. In addition to Paterson, those municipalities are Atlantic City, Bayonne, Bridgeton, Camden, Jersey City, Millville, Newark, Paulsboro, Perth Amboy, Salem, Trenton, and Vineland. Grant funds also will be used to prepare cleanup and reuse plans and conduct community outreach.

The Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of today’s announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said, “EPA’s Brownfields Program breathes new life into communities by helping to turn contaminated and potentially dangerous sites into productive economic contributors. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are significantly ramping up our investments in communities, with the bulk of our funding going to places that have been overburdened and underserved for far too long.”

“Paterson will benefit from the powerful tool of brownfields, which helps overburdened communities in New Jersey address local inequities by providing a means to revitalize properties and promote environmental health, economic growth, and job creation,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “The Brownfields program transforms communities, and BIL gives the program a huge infusion of funding with a historic $1.5 billion dollars that will be leveraged to make a real and lasting on-the-ground difference for communities across the country.”

Applicants selected for funding in New Jersey this year are:

  • City of Asbury Park, Cleanup Grant of $500,000
  • Camden Redevelopment Agency, Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental Grant of $3,500,000
  • Hamilton Township, Cleanup Grant of $500,000
  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Assessment Grant of $2,000,000 for projects statewide

The national list of the applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2022-brownfields-assessment-rlf-cleanup-arc-grants-and-rlf

Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example:

To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment and more than 9,500 properties have been made ready for reuse.

Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.43 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% as a result of cleanup activities.

Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfields sites.

Sen. Cory Booker said: “During my time as Mayor and as Senator, I have seen firsthand how the Brownfields program revitalizes communities. I am proud that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is delivering significant investment in restoring brownfield sites across New Jersey. These federal dollars will protect the health and well-being of communities and promote unrealized economic opportunity.”

Sen. Bob Menendez said: “I have long championed critical federal programs like Brownfields and Superfund that help clean up contaminated waste sites, and I’m proud to have helped secure this funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Today’s announcement will help communities across the state not only protect the environment and improve public health, but also spur new growth and economic opportunity for residents. I thank the Biden Administration for their continued support for our families and their steadfast commitment to environmental justice for underserved communities and communities of color that too often shoulder the burden of legacy pollution.”

“This federal support for New Jersey is an important tool for promoting public safety and protecting our air, land, and water. At the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and all across our state, the Biden Administration and our Democratic Congress are investing in your environment and improving quality of life,” said Congressman Pascrell, a cosponsor of the Green New Deal and author of the law establishing the Great Falls as a national park. “The Great Falls’ ATP site is a prime example of a landmark in need of refurbishment and preservation. Its historic value has been clouded by years of industrial waste and decay. With this federal investment in our state, we will continue the necessary work of cleaning up sites like this for New Jerseyans. I commend our mayor, Andre Sayegh, for his leadership and perseverance on this front. I also want to thank my friends at the EPA, NJDEP, and NJEDA for all they’ve done and continue to do for our communities. This funding is tremendous news for Paterson, for New Jersey, and for our environment. Let’s get to work.”

“Our path toward continued, equitable economic growth is paved by the steps we take today to clean up and cultivate a healthy, safe environment,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “This funding will allow New Jersey to transform brownfields into vibrant, productive assets, especially in under-resourced communities. Investments in the remediation of these sites are investments in future opportunities for all New Jersey residents and businesses.”

“Economic development and environmental protection go hand-in-hand, and in New Jersey, the EPA Brownfields Community-wide Assessment Grant serves as a vital resource for revitalizing vacant properties,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “For too long, financial barriers have prevented entities from developing contaminated sites due to the limited funding available for site assessments, planning, and cleanup. Today’s funding announcement will allow the DEP and the EDA to increase current programmatic efforts to redevelop and remediate contaminated sites, sparking community-wide economic revitalization and furthering Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy and environment.”

“Supporting communities as they work to clean up, revitalize, and redevelop contaminated properties is critical for stimulating economic growth and building a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has made great strides to ensure the equitable environmental and economic well-being of every New Jersey resident, regardless of zip-code. Funding from the EPA Brownfields Community-wide Assessment Grant will allow the NJEDA to provide greater support for communities looking to remediate vacant and underutilized properties, therefore prioritizing the environmental, social, and economic needs of New Jersey’s neighborhoods and distressed communities.”

Paterson Mayor André Sayegh said: “We are extremely pleased with Paterson's ongoing partnerships with the US EPA Region 2, the NJ DEP and NJ EDA. This and other grant funding greatly assists us to take additional steps toward the reclamation of this highly significant early industrial site where Paterson started in 1792. Only through the environmental remediation of the site can it take its place as part of the Great Falls National Historical Park. This is a great step toward our shared vision and we are grateful for the continued support from our partners at the EPA, NJ DEP, and NJ EDA.”

Additional Background

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Redevelopment made possible through the program includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.   

The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 16-19, 2022, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Conference registration is open at www.brownfields2022.org.

For more on Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

Posted June 22, 2022

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