EPA Celebrates 20 Years of Superfund Redevelopment in Cinnaminson, New Jersey
NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative at the Cinnaminson Solar Farm, located on a portion of a former Superfund site and successfully redeveloped into an alternate energy source for the Cinnaminson Township in New Jersey. The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative launched in 1999 with the goal of returning formerly contaminated lands to long-term sustainable and productive reuse for communities. Today, EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez joined officials from Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) and Waste Management to announce that the new solar farm is now in service and supplying solar power to PSE&G electric customers.
Cinnaminson Solar Farm operated by PSE&G in Cinnaminson, New Jersey
“Over the past 20 years, the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative has proven that incorporating reuse early in the process removes barriers to redevelopment and ensures that cleanup plans promote future economic and recreational opportunities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Thanks to SRI, hundreds of formerly contaminated sites have been transformed into hubs of economic, recreational, or residential activity. Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization is a top priority of this Administration and one of the key goals of the Agency’s Superfund Task Force.”
“Land revitalization is a top priority of EPA’s Superfund cleanup mission,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative has helped the Cinnaminson community reclaim and reuse this contaminated land, improving the quality of life, raising property values, and providing an environmentally-beneficial energy alternative.”
“The Cinnaminson Solar Farm continues the work of our Solar 4 All program by putting landfill space with very limited development options to good use in the production of clean, renewable solar energy,” said Karen Reif, vice president of renewables and energy solutions for PSE&G. “Our solar projects are just one more way that PSE&G is working to advance New Jersey energy policy and provide a clean energy future for our state.”
“Waste Management has always been a proponent of renewable energy projects. As the largest landfill gas to energy developer and operator in North America, we have powered more than 460,000 homes and we are advancing projects to power our own fleet of CNG vehicles with landfill-generated gas promoting a circular economy,” commented Rafael Carrasco, Waste Management’s Area Vice President for Greater Mid-Atlantic Area. “In North America we have partnered with companies like PSE&G to generate up to 54 megawatts of electricity from landfill-based solar farm. We continue to look for opportunities to use solar electricity and are delighted to be partnering with PSE&G on this project in Cinnaminson.”
The Cinnaminson Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site is in the Townships of Cinnaminson and Delran in Burlington County, New Jersey. The site covers approximately 400 acres of residential and industrial properties, including two former landfills. Throughout their historic operation, the landfills contaminated groundwater and soil at the site, requiring a thorough cleanup that is still ongoing in other areas of the site.
The Cinnaminson Landfills are covered with a protective cap to prevent people from coming into direct contact with waste; reduce leachate; control air emissions, and to protect the local drinking water supply. In addition, groundwater is being pumped and treated to remove contamination. EPA and NJDEP continue to monitor the groundwater and the landfill to ensure the effectiveness of these systems. PSE&G’s newly operational solar farm sits on a 25-acre portion of the landfills and is made of 32,490 solar panels. It’s anticipated that the 13-megawatt solar farm will generate enough electricity to supply power to 1,300-2,600 homes.
Before the agency’s Redevelopment Initiative, sites were cleaned up but not necessarily put back into productive use. By considering reuse early in the site cleanup process, the Redevelopment Initiative helps ensure that desired future uses are compatible with site cleanup remedies and removes barriers that could keep areas vacant or underused.
Depending on site conditions and community preferences, sites can be reused for a multitude of purposes, including commercial, recreational, ecological and residential uses. The Redevelopment Initiative has helped communities turn former lumberyards into parks, landfills into solar farms, former smelters into health clinics and gravel pits into baseball fields. EPA provides communities with points of contact, as well as case studies and best practices to help bring these projects to fruition.
Overall, approximately 1,000 Superfund sites are in reuse today--more than half the number of sites on Superfund’s National Priorities List. EPA has data on over 8,600 businesses at 529 of these sites. In fiscal year 2018 alone, these businesses generated $52.4 billion in sales, which is more than four times the amount EPA has spent at these sites. These businesses employed more than 195,000 people who earned a combined income of $13 billion. Over the last 7 years, these businesses generated at least $263 billion in sales.
Superfund redevelopment can also lead to energy independence. Today, 59 Superfund sites are home to alternative energy facilities. As of September 2018, these facilities provided enough energy to power about 95,000 homes. Wind, solar and landfill gas facilities make up about 92 percent of these projects. For example, a 7-megawatt solar farm at the Brick Township Landfill site in New Jersey powers all municipal buildings and community park facilities in the township. A solar array at the Continental Steel site in Kokomo, Indiana, provides enough energy to power 1,000 homes.
Over the last few years, as part of the Superfund Task Force work, EPA developed a nationwide list of Superfund National Priorities List sites with the greatest expected redevelopment potential. The list helps promote a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites while working to successfully return sites to productive use after cleanup is completed.
Today’s commemoration kicks off a series of events throughout the next 12 months recognizing Superfund’s achievements in revitalizing communities and protecting human health and the environment.
As part of the commemoration, EPA is releasing SRI’s 20th Anniversary Report https://www.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative/epa-celebrates-20-years-superfund-redevelopment.
For more information about EPA’s Superfund Task Force, please visit https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force.
For more information about Superfund redevelopment, please visit the https://www.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative.
For more information on regional redevelopment benefits, see the 2018 Redevelopment Beneficial Effects reports for each of our regional offices at https://www.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative/redevelopment-economics-superfund-sites#regional.
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