NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a combined $2 million in Brownfield Investment Grants to clean up contamination and revitalize New Jersey communities, boost local economies and leverage job creation.
"These Brownfields grants are a win-win for the Garden State," Sen. Menendez said. "This much-needed federal funding will transform barren toxic waste sites into fertile engines for economic growth and development, while protecting public health and the environment. As New Jersey's economy lags behind the nation in its recovery from the Great Recession, I will continue to fight for positive ways like this in which the federal government can respond to the critical needs of our residents."
"Earlier this year, I was proud to cosponsor a bill that reauthorized funding to EPA for the Brownfield cleanup grants. The grants awarded today are vital to the preservation of New Jersey's public health, and they are also a smart economic investment," Sen. Booker said. "This funding is critical to help return these sites to a productive use for communities in Union and Mercer counties as well as in the cities of Newark and Camden. These cleanup grants will allow us to conduct community outreach and cleanup projects that create jobs for New Jerseyans. In order for our state to thrive, we must invest in and prioritize the environmental sustainability of our communities."
The EPA's Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed. New Jersey is receiving the following grant awards:
- Union County
Two Grants Totaling $600,000 for environmental site assessments. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to conduct 12 Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct 12 Phase I and seven Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds of both types also will be used to inventory sites and support cleanup planning and community outreach activities. The county's coalition partners are the Boroughs of Garwood and Roselle and the Cities of Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, and Rahway.
- Camden Redevelopment Agency
Three Grants Totaling $600,000 for hazardous substances cleanups of Lots 10, 11, and 12 of the Harrison Avenue Landfill located on the corner of East State Street and Harrison Avenue. The property was operated by the City of Camden as a dump from 1952 to 1971. Illegal dumping reportedly continued at the property for many years after the site was closed. The three cleanup sites are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and dieldrin. Grant funds also will be used to develop a waterfront habitat cleanup plan and conduct community engagement activities.
- City of Newark
Two Grants Totaling $400,000 for hazardous substances and petroleum cleanups at the Royal Recovery site at 43-57 Clifton Street, which was formerly used for a variety of activities, including waterproofing, wool processing, and precious metals recovery. The site is contaminated with mercury, cadmium, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Grant funds also will be used to remove two underground storage tanks and conduct community engagement activities. Petroleum grant funds will be used to clean up the former Lionetti Oil site at 123-131 Riverside Avenue. The site was used for industrial purposes starting in the 1940s, and later operated as a heating fuel oil transfer station until 1993. It is contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbons and semi-volatile organic compounds. Grant funds also will be used to remove ten aboveground storage tanks and conduct community engagement activities.
- Mercer County Improvement Authority
Two Grants Totaling $400,000 for hazardous substances and petroleum cleanups of the former John A. Roebling & Sons complex on Clark Street in Trenton, which manufactured wire rope for suspension bridges and elevator cables for over 125 years. The facility closed in 1974 and since that time, has been either vacant or underutilized. Hazardous substances contamination includes heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Petroleum contamination is from underground storage tanks containing heavy heating oil. Grant funds of both types also will be used for community engagement activities, including development of a community relations plan.
The EPA announced today that 171 communities across the country will receive 264 grants totaling $67 million in Brownfields funding. Since 1995, Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $21 billion in economic development and the creation of nearly 93,000 jobs nationwide. The program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.