PHILADELPHIA (May 26, 2023) – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today in announcing $1,791,543 for Maryland from President Joe Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in the state while advancing environmental justice.
EPA selected one community in Maryland to receive one grant totaling more than $1.7 million in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this is the largest ever funding awarded in the history of the EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant programs.
These investments are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
“Thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we are making historic federal investments across Maryland. This grant is a significant opportunity for the City of Salisbury and for Maryland’s coastal economy. The more than $1.7 million dedicated to cleaning up toxic chemicals from the Lake Street Oil Tank Farm will transform underutilized land into valuable space in communities that need it most,” said Senator Cardin. “At every level of government, we’re continuing to work together and use every available resource to make Maryland cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient.”
“We’re working across the country to revitalize what were once dangerous and polluted sites in overburdened communities into more sustainable and environmentally just places that serve as community assets. Thanks to President Biden’s historic investments in America, we’re moving further and faster than ever before to clean up contaminated sites, spur economic redevelopment, and deliver relief that so many communities have been waiting for,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This critical wave of investments is the largest in Brownfields history and will accelerate our work to protect the people and the planet by transforming what was once blight into might.”
“This unprecedented Brownfields investment will allow the City of Salisbury to clean up two properties that have been contaminated and under-used for many years and return them as assets to benefit the community and local economy,” said EPA Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “Cleaning and redeveloping these properties will be a big boost to this growing and thriving city.”
“For years, the toxic chemicals left behind on the former SALKAP property have posed risks to the health of the Wicomico River and the residents of Salisbury. I fought to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help make investments in cleanup projects to better protect our communities, our environment and to address this kind of legacy pollution. With this federal funding, Salisbury can take a big step forward in realizing its vision for a safe, vibrant riverfront green space that residents and visitors alike can enjoy without fear of health risks,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen (D – MD).
Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.
Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.
EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations into all aspects of its work. Approximately 84 percent of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities.
The City of Salisbury has been selected to receive $1,791,543 for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant and will use the funds to clean up two parcels known as the SALKAP Lake Street Oil Tank Farm at 317 and 325 Lake Street. The parcels were formerly utilized as a fuel tank farm with aboveground storage tanks and a waste oil processing facility until they became inactive in 1992. The site is contaminated with benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) and semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in groundwater, and volatile organic compounds, SVOCs, pesticides, petroleum, and metals in soil.
You can read more about this year’s MARC selectees.
Brownfields Technical Assistance Providers and Research Grants
EPA is also announcing funding selection for two Brownfields technical assistance opportunities. The Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) selectees provide specialized technical knowledge, research, and training to help stakeholders understand brownfields-related subject matter, and guide them through the brownfield assessment, clean-up, and revitalization process. This assistance is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities. This technical assistance is available to all stakeholders and comes at no cost to communities. The two funding opportunities announced today include the following:
- EPA selected West Virginia University Research Corporation to receive $5 million to provide training and technical assistance to communities across the state under the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Communities Program. This funding comes entirely from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- EPA is also expanding the scope of its technical assistance offerings under the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program to include three new subject-specific grants totaling $2 million in three areas, including providing technical assistance to nonprofits seeking to reuse brownfields; provide research, outreach, and guidance on minimizing displacement resulting from brownfields redevelopment; and providing outreach and guidance on land banking tactics for brownfields revitalization.
For more information about Brownfields Technical Assistance and Research, please visit https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-technical-assistance-and-research.
For more on Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields