Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Maurice River, NJ receiving $400K in EPA brownfield grants

The Environmental Protection Agency today announced:

Maurice River Township, NJ, 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.

Maurice River Township will receive two brownfields grants totaling $400,000 as follows:

Cheli Sand and Gravel Site – $200,000

The $200,000 grant will be used to assess the Cheli Sand and Gravel site, a 13.65-acre abandoned sand and gravel mine/pit on Schooner Landing Road. The buildings that once stood on the property when the business was in operation have been demolished but the demolition debris remains on the site. In 2004, a site inspection raised many environmental concerns, including: underground storage tanks of unknown contents; a 5,000-gallon rail car that likely contained diesel fuel; evidence of illegal dumping of hazardous materials; and
pipe discharge from an on-site building to a wetland off-site.

Once cleaned up, the site may be offered to The Nature Conservancy to expand the 500-acre Manumuskin River Preserve. This project could further the community’s goal of preserving and protecting the sensitive natural resources within the preserve that surrounds the Cheli site.

Ackley Garage Site – $200,000

A $200,000 grant will be used to clean up the Ackley Garage site located on Route 47 within 900 feet of the Maurice River. The three-acre site operated as a gas station, automotive repair shop, general store, and residence until it was closed in the early 1990s. The funding will be used to remove and dispose contaminated soil, and remove contaminated debris, such as empty paint cans and car batteries. The funding will also be used to monitor groundwater contamination.

In addition, EPA grant funds will also be used to conduct community outreach, including distribution of updated fact sheets, development of a community involvement plan, and providing information materials at public meetings. In 2011, Maurice River Township received a $200,000 brownfield assessment grant that was used to assess the Ackley Garage site.

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. Maurice River Township has received $600,000 in past brownfields assessment and cleanup grants.

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 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs 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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