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United States : EPA Provides $400,000 to Jersey City to Expand Berry Lane Park and 64 Affordable Housing Units.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing $400,000 to Jersey City to clean up two abandoned and contaminated properties, which will be used to construct parkland and affordable housing. The funding is being awarded under the EPAs brownfields program, which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse properties at which moderate contamination threatens environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment.

Cleaning up brownfields sites allows abandoned and contaminated land to be revitalized as parks, affordable housing and businesses, said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. EPAs funding will help create jobs while protecting the health of area residents and improving the environment."

Revolving loan funds supply money for grant recipients to provide loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When these loans are repaid, the loan amounts are then returned into the fund and re-loaned to other borrowers. This provides an ongoing source of money as the funds are redistributed to other parties.

The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority will receive $200,000 for the cleanup of a site at the intersection of Dwight Street and Ocean Avenue. Upon completion, the property will be transferred to a non-profit housing developer for the construction of 64 affordable residential units and 5,000 square feet of retail space in this underserved community.

The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority will also receive $200,000 for the cleanup of a site at the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Woodward Street. Once remediated, this site will be redeveloped into 3.4 acres of additional parkland as a second phase of Berry Lane Park.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the U.S. Since the inception of the EPAs Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative investments have leveraged nearly $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. These investments have resulted in nearly 109,000 jobs nationwide. A recent study shows that residential property values increased 5-15 percent near brownfield sites when cleanups were completed. Preliminary analysis of 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 the EPA contributed to the cleanup of those sites.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jul 13, 2016
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