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Woodbine to Receive $1M to Clean Up Old School Site, Among Others

Woodbine to Receive $1M to Clean Up Old School Site, Among Others

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grant awards from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in New Jersey while advancing environmental justice. These investments through EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Programs will help transform once-polluted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community assets, while helping to create good jobs and spur economic revitalization in overburdened communities.

EPA selected four communities in New Jersey to receive grants totaling $3 million in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant programs.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will announce the awards in Philadelphia today (May 20) alongside Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) at a local brownfield side near Bartram’s Mile.

For over 60 years, the site was used as an oil terminal, filled with storage tanks full of petroleum and other semi-volatile organic compounds. The City of Philadelphia has been working to reclaim brownfield sites along Bartram’s Mile, turning them into a community hub where residents can access trails for hiking and biking, as well as areas for fishing, gardening, farming, and more.

“Far too many communities across America have suffered the harmful economic and health consequences of living near polluted brownfield sites,” said President Joe Biden. “I’ve long believed that people who’ve borne the burden of pollution should be the first to see the benefits of new investment. Under my Administration, we are making that a reality by ensuring the historic resources from my Investing in America agenda reach communities that need it most. I am proud that my Administration is helping Philadelphia clean up and transform this area into an economic engine, while tackling a longstanding environmental injustice and creating good-paying jobs.”

“President Biden sees contaminated sites and blighted areas as an opportunity to invest in healthier, revitalized communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “That is why he secured historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, supercharging EPA’s Brownfields program to clean up contaminated properties in overburdened communities and bring them back into productive use.”

“The Brownfields program is a powerful tool that helps communities in New Jersey address local inequities by providing a means to revitalize abandoned properties and promote environmental health, economic growth, and job creation,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “The Brownfields program transforms communities, and this funding gives the program a huge shot in the arm – with a historic $1.5 billion dollars that will be leveraged to make a real and lasting on-the-ground difference for communities across the country.”

“Far too many communities in New Jersey continue to suffer at the hands of corporate polluters and legacy pollution. Cleaning up contaminated sites across our state has always been one of my highest priorities,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “I’m proud to have helped secure this funding that will advance the remediation of several sites, improve public health, safety, and our environment, and encourage economic redevelopment.”

“During my time as Mayor and as Senator, I have seen firsthand how the EPA’s Brownfields Program revitalizes communities across New Jersey that have been home to contaminated properties. This investment in Camden, Red Bank, and Woodbine will help clean up sites and transform them into clean, vibrant spaces that benefit the surrounding community. I’m proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I voted to support, is delivering vital funding to improve public health and economic opportunity in New Jersey,” said Senator Cory Booker.

“South Jersey families deserve healthy and safe neighborhoods to call home,” Representative Donald Norcross (NJ-01) said. “Cleaning up old commercial and industrial sites to protect our communities from hazardous waste and polluted environments has been a longtime priority for me. I’m proud to have supported these Brownfield grants and to have worked with the Biden-Harris Administration to enact the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which is continuing to deliver historic investments that improve quality of life and create economic opportunities for South Jerseyans.”

“I’m glad to see that the Monmouth Conservation Foundation in my district is receiving federal funding to clean up contaminated land in Red Bank. It’s great to see that New Jersey is benefitting from funding I included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee last Congress and is helping communities across our state repurpose the land and return it to good use,” Representative Frank Pallone (NJ-06) said. “Today’s announcement will help build on our progress to clean up and revitalize these contaminated sites so we can generate new jobs and economic opportunities.”

“The EPA’s Brownfields program has been instrumental in helping New Jersey communities reclaim sites plagued by blight and restore them to productive and beneficial uses once again,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the support of our congressional delegation, more New Jersey communities will bear witness to this type of transformative investment.”

“My DEP colleagues and I are pleased to see Camden, Red Bank and Woodbine selected for these EPA grants,” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “These funds will advance work that will revitalize neighborhoods, protect public health and create economic growth. We thank the Biden-Harris Administration and our partners at the EPA for their continued commitment to our overburdened communities.” 

Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

EPA’s Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations in all aspects of its work. Approximately 86% of the MAC and RLF Supplemental program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include disadvantaged communities.

Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program Selection

The following organizations in New Jersey have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs.

Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc., Camden N.J. has been selected to receive $1 million. The grant will be used to clean up the Former West Jersey Paper Manufacturing Site in the City of Camden, which housed the West Jersey Paper Manufacturing Company from 1850 to 1967 and Latex Fiber Industries, Inc. from 1967 to 1974. The site, currently unused and vacant, is contaminated with heavy metals, arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and PCBs. Grant funds also will be used to prepare a Community Involvement Plan and conduct community engagement activities.

Camden Redevelopment Agency Camden, NJ has been selected to receive $500,000. This community-wide grant will be utilized to perform environmental site assessments. The assessment efforts will concentrate on the Federal Street Industrial and Commercial Corridor in the East Camden Neighborhood. Notably, priority sites include a vacant property formerly used for chemical manufacturing, a former incinerator site, and other former industrial and manufacturing properties.

Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Red Bank, NJ has been selected to receive $500,000. This community-wide grant will be utilized to perform environmental site assessments. The target area for this grant is a 210-acre portion of the western side of the Borough of Red Bank. Notably, priority sites include the 8.6-acre Red Bank Landfill and other surrounding and downstream properties.

Woodbine, NJ has been selected to receive $1 million. This grant will support a range of eligible activities, including environmental site assessments. Grant funds will be used to clean up the Old School site located at 808 Franklin Street and the Hat Company site located at 608 Dehirsh Avenue. Other priority sites include a former landfill that closed in 1984 and the Woodbine Municipal Airport.

Additional Background:

EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites to address the health, economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields. EPA anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.7 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. Prior to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program made approximately $60 million available each year. Thanks to the President’s historic investments in America through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA has now increased that yearly investment nearly 400 percent. More than half of the funding available for this grant cycle (approximately $160 million) comes from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This investment has also allowed the MAC grants’ maximum award amounts to increase significantly from $500,000 to a new maximum of $5 million per award.

To see the list of the FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding visit EPA’s FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

To see the list of RLF Supplemental funding recipients visit EPA’s FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

To learn more about RLF Technical Assistance grant recipient visit EPA’s Brownfields Grow America webpage.

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program visit EPA’s Brownfields webpage. For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

Follow EPA Region 2 on X and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

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