New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing a total of $2.8 million to the cities of Newark and Jersey City to help them clean up abandoned and contaminated sites. The funding was awarded through EPA’s Brownfields Program, which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated properties. Brownfields are properties at which moderate contamination threaten environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment. In addition, Newark as awarded a pilot Multi-Purpose Brownfield grant to conduct both assessments and cleanups. This new type of grant allows recipients to move more quickly from assessment of a site to cleaning it up.
“Investment in the clean up and reuse of contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near Brownfields communities. This funding will help foster local economic growth and leverage jobs in communities where they are needed most,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. “A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”
“Cleaning up brownfields sites protect people’s health and the environment, revitalizes neighborhoods and create jobs,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Brownfields cleanups and the reuse of formerly contaminated properties improve the lives of those who live and work in these communities.”
The Brownfields Program was created by Congress in 2002. It helps states and communities clean up and revitalize properties that may be contaminated and are not currently being put to use. EPA’s Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.
- Newark will receive $600,000 to clean up three sites contaminated with hazardous substances.
- The first and second sites are the former Stacor site at 275-297 Emmett Street and the Empire Street site at 61-77 Empire Street. From the early 1900s to the late 1990s, the 2.6-acre former Stacor site was used for various industrial operations, including metal works and metal products manufacturing. Two 10-foot-in-diameter above ground storage tanks and 150 drums are located on the site. Area soil is contaminated with metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
- A third cleanup will take place at the former Northern New Jersey Oil, Lot 12, South Yard site located at 2052-2070 McCarter Highway. Since at least 1930, this one-acre parcel was used for wholesale distribution of petroleum products and later for auto repair and storage. The currently unused site contains three aboveground petroleum tanks and several unlabeled 55-gallon drums. Newark will also receive a $550,000 multipurpose brownfields grant to conduct assessment and cleanup at a site in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
- The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will receive $350,000 to assess brownfields at the Grand Jersey Brownfield development area site on Jersey Avenue and Aetna Street. The area was once part of the former Communipaw Bay. After the area was filled in, it was used as a railyard, a metal smelter and reclamation facility, a paper recycling center, a manufacturing facility for waterproofing and insulating materials, and a transformer facility. Grant funds also will be used to prepare cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.
- The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will also receive $400,000 to cleanup sites contaminated with hazardous substances.
- Hazardous substances will be cleaned up at two sites located at 441 and 443 Ocean Avenue. Both sites were developed between 1898 and 1912 for mixed residential and retail use. The sites were vacated and all structures were demolished in 1988. The sites contain old fill material contaminated with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and soil and groundwater contaminated with perchloroethylene. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
- Lastly, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will receive $928,090 to support a revolving loan fund from which the city will provide loans and subgrants to cleanup sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Grant funds also will be used to market the program, oversee fund management activities, and provide technical support for the program.
The EPA recently announced a total of more than $69.3 million in new investments across the country that will redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and help create jobs while protecting public health. Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have created approximately 70,000 jobs. The 214 grantees receiving grants through the Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup Grants programs include tribes and communities in 39 states across the country. The agency also announced nearly $4 million nationally in multipurpose grants that allow for a quicker transition between assessing a site and conducting a cleanup.
Information on grant recipients can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields.