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Four New Jersey Cities to Receive EPA Funds to Assess and Clean Up Abandoned and Contaminated Sites

Release Date: 04/22/2010
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662, totman.elizabeth@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing a total of $2.3 million to the cities of Trenton, Jersey City, Newark and Camden to help them clean up abandoned and contaminated sites. The cities will receive the funding through EPA’s brownfields program, which helps communities clean up, redevelop, and reuse sites that range from major industrial parcels to small facilities to old gas stations. Brownfields are properties at which redevelopment is hindered by toxic pollution. The cleanup of contaminated properties previously used for industrial or commercial purposes and the ultimate investment in their redevelopment protects the environment, reduces blight, revitalizes neighborhoods, and takes development pressure off open space.

“The EPA brownfields grants will help revitalize parts of Trenton, Jersey City, Newark and Camden from both an environmental and economic development perspective,” said Judith Enck, Regional Administrator. “Not only will these cleanups protect the health of area residents, they will provide opportunities for development projects that benefit communities, produce jobs, and improve the quality of people’s lives.”

In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was adopted by Congress to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment, revolving loan fund, cleanup, and job training. EPA’s brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

The recipients of brownfields grants in New Jersey:

The city of Trenton will receive three grants totaling $500,000 to clean up brownfields sites impacted by hazardous substances and petroleum contamination. Of the total, $400,000 will be used to clean up the Anthony Storcella property at 21 Nottingham Way and the Greg Grant site at 927-939 East State Street and Freeman Lane. The Anthony Storcella site was formerly used for textile and rubber manufacturing, coal distribution, and machine shop activities, and is contaminated with potentially cancer-causing PCBs and metals, which can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, and damage to lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. The Greg Grant site was formerly an automobile storage garage, laundry, and dry cleaning facility, and is contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which can be cancer-causing, and metals. When the Anthony Storcella property is cleaned up, the city plans to redevelop it as a farmer’s market that is expected to bring jobs and fresh produce to the neighborhood and encourage investment. Trenton plans to redevelop the Greg Grant site into 20 new units of affordable housing. In addition, $100,000 in brownfields funds will be used to clean up a former gasoline station at 678 North Clinton Avenue, which was built in 1930 and is contaminated with petroleum products. The funds will also be used to remove four underground storage tanks. Trenton plans to redevelop the property into housing built by Habitat for Humanity.

The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will receive three grants totaling $600,000. Of the total, $400,000 will be used to clean up two properties, located on Garfield Avenue in Jersey City, once used as junkyards and now contaminated with PAHs and metals. In addition, Jersey City will use $200,000 to clean up a former gas station also located on Garfield Avenue.

Newark was selected to receive $600,000 to clean up three sites that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. The funding will be used to begin cleanup work at two lots that are a part of the former Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company site on McCarter Highway Rear. These sites are contaminated with solvents and other volatile organic compounds, which cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, and damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. The third site is the former Synfax Manufacturing facility on Avenue P, which was used as a dump and is contaminated with PCBs, solvents, and other volatile organic compounds. Grant funds will be used to install ground water wells to get a better understanding of the contamination at one of the properties on McCarter Highway Rear and the Synfax site. Ten underground storage tanks will be removed from the second property on McCarter Highway Rear.

The Camden Redevelopment Agency will receive $600,000 for the cleanup of hazardous substances at three sites within the ABC Barrel facility at 324-330 North Front Street, the 300 block of North Second Street, and 212-123 Penn Street in the Cooper Grant Neighborhood of Camden. The ABC Barrel facility was used as a wool mill, steam laundry, and drum refurbishing facility. The three sites within the facility are contaminated with organic compounds and metals. When the three sites are cleaned up, Camden plans to build 10 new homes, which will be part of a larger residential project with open space for a park and recreational use.

Since the beginning of the brownfields program in 1995, EPA has awarded 1,702 assessment grants totaling $401 million, 262 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $256.7 million, and 655 cleanup grants totaling $129.4 million. As part of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s commitment to this program, the 2011 proposed budget includes an increase to $215 million for brownfields with a focus on planning, cleanup, job training and redevelopment.

Information on grant recipients can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields. For general information on brownfields and how EPA is helping transform communities, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/brownfields.

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