The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted $1.9 million to three New Jersey municipalities and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for brownfields cleanup and assessment.
This funding is part of an overall $66.5 million granted to 151 communities to support underserved and economically disadvantaged areas across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
Hainesport Township received $500,000, the City of Salem received $800,000, and the City of Trenton received $300,000. The NJEDA received $300,000.
“Cleaning up brownfields helps protect the environment and serves as a catalyst to jump-start much needed economic growth in New Jersey communities, often in historically underserved areas,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan in a prepared statement. “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.”
In Hainesport, grant funds will be used to clean up the Former Paul’s Tank Cleaning Service site at 1225 Industrial Blvd., which operated from 1962 to 1982 as an industrial tank cleaning facility that cleaned out residual waste from tanks at schools, factories, and ships operating on the Philadelphia waterfront.
It’s now contaminated with PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tetrachloroethene, and heavy metals.
Hainesport Mayor Leila Gilmore called the remediation “critical to the economic development” of the area.
Some funding will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
In Salem, grant funds will be used to conduct six environmental site assessments and to clean up sites in Salem’s historic Waterfront Industrial Zone, prepare one site reuse vision and three reuse plans, and conduct community outreach activities. Priority sites include the Tri-County Oil site at 1 Front St., the 6-acre Aluchem heavy industrial site at West Broadway, and the McCarthy’s Bar site at 190 Griffith St.
In Trenton, grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, prepare four cleanup plans, and conduct community engagement activities. Former dry cleaner sites in the city, including Eagle Cleaning and Dyeing, Bell Boy Cleaners, Suds Brothers and Schofield Cleaners, will be prioritized.
“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,” said Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. “This $300,000 grant will help us continue that great work for the 84,000 residents who call this city home.”
The $300,000 marked for the NJEDA will be used to conduct 10 environmental site assessments in Paterson, Perth Amboy, and Bayonne; and will also 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, according to the announcement.
“Revitalizing brownfields is crucial to achieving Gov. 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.”
The EPA plans to 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.