U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Robert Antonicelli, Executive Director Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, today visited the Grand Jersey Brownfield Development Area in Jersey City to announce nearly $1.7 million in EPA grants, including $350,000 to assess, clean up and spur revitalization of an abandoned industrial site, creating new jobs, economic and housing opportunities, and becoming a gateway to Liberty State Park.
"The Grand Jersey Brownfield Development Area is a prime example of the pockets of vacated, contaminated wasteland left behind by the industrial and manufacturing economy which once drove this city," said Senator Menendez. "It is also a prime example of untapped economic opportunity. By cleaning up this site, we can rethink its use, rebuild and revitalize it, so that it becomes an engine for economic growth and a vibrant community."
The Grand Jersey Brownfield Development Area is adjacent to the Jersey City Medical Center, Liberty State Park, a tidewater basin and the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line. The area was once used as a railyard, metal smelter and reclamation facility, paper recycling center, manufacturing facility for waterproofing and insulating materials, and a transformer facility.
The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will use the $350,000 grant to carry out an environmental assessment and prepare clean-up plans. Once fully remediated, the redevelopment plan will capitalize on its location, with mixed use development, residences, businesses and green space.
"The City of Jersey City has been aggressively working to clean up brownfields and turn them into productive parcels of land, where tax dollars and jobs are created," said Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. "Our success has been due in part to our partners at the federal level, including Senator Menendez and the Environmental Protection Agency, who have recognized time and time again that investing in Jersey City is money well spent."
"EPA brownfields grants help transform abandoned and contaminated sites into community assets and create jobs," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "Brownfields cleanups protect people's health and the environment by addressing sources of pollution, improving the lives of those who live and work in these communities."
"The Redevelopment Agency is once again honored to be the recipient of these EPA Grants," said Jersey City Redevelopment Agency Executive Director, Robert Antonicelli. "Needless to say the mission of rebuilding this great City is not possible without active partners like Senator Menendez and the EPA. These grants will go a long way in providing much needed jobs, both construction and permanent, affordable housing, recreational opportunities and market rate housing in our City."
In total, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will receive $1,678,090 in grants from the EPA Brownfields program which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated properties. Brownfields are properties at which moderate contamination threaten environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment. The grants include:
$350,000 to assess brownfields at the Grand Jersey Brownfield development area site and to prepare cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.
$400,000 to cleanup two sites (441 and 443 Ocean Ave) contaminated with hazardous substances. Both sites were developed between 1898 and 1912 for mixed residential and retail use. The sites were vacated and all structures were demolished in 1988. The sites contain old fill material contaminated with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and soil and groundwater contaminated with perchloroethylene. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
$928,090 to support a revolving loan fund from which the city will provide loans and subgrants to cleanup sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Grant funds also will be used to market the program, oversee fund management activities, and provide technical support for the program.