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News Releases from Region 02

Camden Redevelopment Agency to Receive $450,000 to Continue Work on Contaminated Brownfield Site

06/07/2017
Contact Information: 
Tayler Covington (covington.tayler@epa.gov)
(212) 637-3662

(New York, N.Y. – June 7, 2017) – The Camden Redevelopment Agency of Camden, New Jersey was among 11 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) recipients selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to receive supplemental funding. The additional support will help them to continue their work cleaning up the contaminated Building 8 Site.

The Brownfields RLF program supports EPA’s commitment to help environmentally overburdened communities address their local priorities. The supplemental funds announced today will help communities reuse vacant and abandoned properties and turn them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, transportation options, infrastructure and commerce opportunities.

“These supplemental funds help provide communities with resources to help clean up contamination, and turn blighted land into opportunities that can generate jobs and spur economic growth,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The Camden Redevelopment Agency will use the $450,000 in RLF supplemental funds to resume cleanup work on the vacant Building 8 Site, which was formerly used for radio manufacturing and office space. The cleanup of groundwater, PCBs in soil, and building interiors was stalled due to an unforeseen increase in project costs. With these additional Brownfield RLF funds in place, this project can continue work in 2018 and the Camden Redevelopment Agency can have a designated developer begin construction on the property. Estimated completion of the site is within 18 months of the cleanup restart.

“The City of Camden and the Camden Redevelopment Agency are really excited about this $450,000 RLF grant. The grant will close the funding gap for the clean-up of this historic former RCA company building that is owned by the Camden Redevelopment Agency,” said its Executive Director, Saundra Ross Johnson. This building is pegged for residential development of up to 90 market condominium units. Retail opportunities will also exist as the first floor of the 10-story building is slated for retail. The community benefits include employment for nine staff members to manage the building and additional employment created by the retail tenants.”  

RLF grants are often the last key piece of funding needed to make the cleanup and reuse of a brownfield property happen. They fund loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. These supplemental funds are provided to communities with current RLF grants who have already achieved success in their brownfields work, and keep the momentum going.

             Former successful RLF communities have leveraged more than $6.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment                                      investments and completed more than 657 cleanups. For example, RLF funds are being used to turn the Colman                          Village Site in Rockford, Illinois into a $65 million multi-use complex that will host the Rock Valley Technical Career                    Education and Training Center, a major hospital clinic, the Illinois Center for Urban Agriculture, and office spaces. It is              expected to generate approximately 210 to 305 jobs.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States, and EPA brownfields grants are helping to make a visible difference in communities across the country. As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24.3 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged.

On average, for every one EPA Brownfields dollar provided, $16.11 was leveraged. As for employment, on average, 8.5 jobs were leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

A recent national study has shown that cleaning up brownfields led to residential property value increases of 5 - 15.2% within a 1.24-mile radius of the site. (Haninger et al. 2017). Another study analyzing data near 48 brownfields found that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue is 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 the cleanup of those brownfields.

For a list of FY 2017 applicants selected for RLF Supplemental Funds: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-fy17-rlf-supplemental-funds-award-selections

For more information on EPA’s brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfields

To see project examples and success stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

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