The grant awards help underserved communities Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
May 11, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that four New Jersey entities have been selected to receive a total of $1.9 million to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program. Nationwide, 151 communities will receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants.
This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.
“Cleaning up brownfields helps protect the environment and serves as a catalyst to jumpstart much needed economic growth in New Jersey communities, often in historically underserved areas,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “These grants address decades-old sources of pollution and bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders who work in concert to make their communities better and more sustainable places to live, work and play.”
The selectees and projects in New Jersey are:
• Hainesport Township ($500,000 cleanup grant): Grant funds will be used to clean up the Former Paul's Tank Cleaning Service site at 1225 Industrial Boulevard. The cleanup site operated from 1962 to 1982 as an industrial tank cleaning facility that cleaned out residual waste from tanks at schools, factories, and ships that operated on Philadelphia's waterfront. Today, the site is a relatively flat and vacant parcel contaminated with PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tetrachloroethene, and heavy metals. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
• New Jersey Economic Development Authority ($300,000 assessment grant): Community-wide grant funds will be used to conduct 10 environmental site assessments in Paterson, Perth Amboy, and Bayonne. Grant funds also will be used to develop two conceptual designs for the City of Bridgeton, prepare two cleanup plans, and conduct community outreach activities. Priority sites include the Allied Textile Printing site in Paterson, the Rudyk Park Expansion Areas 1 and 2 in Perth Amboy, the 5-acre Block 452.02 site in Bayonne, which was part of a former Standard Oil complex, and a 28-acre former dump in Bridgeton.
• City of Salem ($800,000 multipurpose grant): Grant funds will be used to conduct six environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to clean up sites in the target area, prepare one site reuse vision and three reuse plans, and conduct community outreach activities. The target area is Salem’s historic Waterfront Industrial Zone. Priority sites include the Tri-County Oil site at 1 Front Street, the 6-acre Aluchem heavy industrial site at W. Broadway, and the McCarthy’s Bar site at 190 Griffith Street.
• City of Trenton ($300,000 assessment grant): Community-wide grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and prepare four cleanup plans. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community engagement activities. Trenton plans to prioritize former dry cleaner sites in the city, including Eagle Cleaning and Dyeing, Bell Boy Cleaners, Suds Brothers, and Schofield Cleaners.
“Hainesport Township is grateful to the EPA for being awarded this competitive grant. These funds will allow us to conduct an environmental cleanup of a defunct tank cleaning and storage facility, known locally as Paul’s Tank Farm. This remediation is critical to the economic development of this area and the many opportunities it will generate for the Hainesport community,” stated Hainesport Mayor Leila Gilmore.
“Revitalizing brownfields is crucial to achieving Governor Murphy’s environmental justice goals and building toward his vision for a stronger, fairer New Jersey,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “This grant funding will help us continue our work to help communities throughout New Jersey transform vacant, contaminated properties into vibrant community assets that improve residents’ lives and drive economic growth.”
Salem Mayor Charles Washington Jr., said: “The City has set forth a vision to redevelop Salem’s waterfront and the city’s BDA with economically sustainable green energy jobs. This is an exciting time for the City of Salem as we continue to set our sights on our redevelopment goals, and this opportunity from the EPA brings us closer. The technical support for our brownfield inventory received from partners such as NJ DEP CCI and NJ CCLR have been helpful in moving the city along with our redevelopment efforts and together with the support of the EPA the city’s revitalization efforts and partnerships, will continue to keep moving forward.”
“On behalf of the City of Trenton, I am proud that we were selected to receive a Brownfields Hazardous Assessment Grant from EPA this year,” said Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. “We have an excellent relationship with EPA dating back to the 1990s, and thanks to EPA’s grant resources and technical assistance over the years, we’ve been able to investigate, remediate and redevelop numerous brownfields sites in Trenton. This $300,000 grant will help us continue that great work for the 84,000 residents who call this city home.”
“The Brownfields program has been a crucial tool for cleaning up contaminated sites, protecting public health, and spurring local economic growth throughout the country – particularly in New Jersey, which has hundreds of these sites. The funding announced today will help revitalize these spaces so that they can be returned to good, productive use,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. “Removing public health hazards like those at Brownfields sites not only protects the health of nearby communities and families, but also spurs investment in the local economy by allowing these spaces to be transformed into parks, businesses, community centers, and more. I’m proud to have sponsored the reauthorization of the Brownfield program and glad to see the results of that work reach New Jersey, and I’ll make sure we continue to build on this progress in Congress.”
“This federal investment in Paterson will build on the progress that we’ve already made at the Great Falls. This is tremendous news for our community and I thank my friends at the EPA for their support and hard work," said Rep. Bill Pascrell. "Central to my efforts in Congress is ensuring that our environment is protected and preserved for future generations. That includes cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial areas, such as the Allied Textile Printing site here at the Great Falls National Historic Park. By providing a much needed federal investment to restore this historic landmark, we will be able to transform what is currently a dilapidated and dangerous stretch of land into a community space for generations to come. I look forward to working with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Biden administration on the next steps and will keep working until this important work is complete.”
Today’s grant announcement includes:
$8.8 million for 11 Multipurpose Grants, which will provide funding to conduct a range of eligible assessment and cleanup activities at one or more brownfield sites in a target area.
$42.2 million for 107 Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
$15.5 million for 36 Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-for fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients. Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield 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 15.2% 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 brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding. For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
Posted May 12, 2021