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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Selects Camden, New Jersey to Receive Grants Totaling $750,000 to Assess, Clean Up and Revitalize Contaminated Properties

Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez ( )
(212) 637-3664

(New York, N.Y. – May 31, 2017) Camden, New Jersey, was among 172 communities across the country selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.

“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”

The EPA has selected the Camden Redevelopment Agency and the City of Camden to receive a total of three brownfields grants:

The Camden Redevelopment Agency – 7th Street and Kaighn Avenue Site – $350,000

The $350,000 grant will be used to assess a parcel of property at 726 Kaighn Avenue, a former electroplating facility that stopped operations in 2004. For many years, the property and building have been abandoned and trespassers have occupied the building, which contained dangerous substances. In 2011, EPA removed over 80 containers of acids, metals, cyanide, ammonia and sodium hydroxide. The Camden Redevelopment Agency now plans to re-develop this site into an industrial park to bring living wage manufacturing jobs back to the city.

The Camden Redevelopment Agency – Harrison Avenue Landfill Site Lots 13-17 – $200,000

             A $200,000 grant will be used to clean up Lots 13-17 of the Harrison Avenue Landfill Site at the corner of East State                      Street and Harrison Avenue. The landfill lots are part of an 83-acre former city dump that at one time received                             virtually everything, including chemical, industrial and medical waste. A portion of the landfill site has already been                 cleaned up and now includes the Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army Corps Community Center. The overall plan calls                 for the dump to be restored to natural conditions to include a pond filled and replenished by tidal water, a stormwater            settling pond, walking trails, landscaped areas, and a solar field to supply power to the Salvation Army Community                      Center. Roughly half of Lots 13-17 will be incorporated into a four-acre freshwater tidal marsh.

The City of Camden – Knox Meadows II Site – $200,000

The $200,000 grant will be used to clean up the Knox Meadows II site located at 1000 North 4th Street. The site is a 2.5-acre portion of the 37-acre former Knox Gelatin site, which manufactured soap, gelatin, sealants, and other goods. The site’s soil is contaminated with metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and low-level concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The site’s groundwater contains harmful metals that are also found in the historic fill material identified in the soil. Once cleaned up, the site may be used for an affordable townhouse-style redevelopment for low-income families.

Assessment grants provide funding for a recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites, while cleanup grants provide funding for a recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. To date, the Camden Redevelopment Agency has received a total of $5.1 million in EPA brownfield grants and the City of Camden has received $950,000. 

Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5% and more than 15%. and can increase property values within 1.24 miles of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to those brownfields.

              As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged across the                  country as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 is leveraged for each                  EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs are leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment,                    cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

About EPA’s brownfields program:

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