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New Jersey: Clean Air Communities (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary below provides a description of a Camden, New Jersey project that received a cooperative agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2006. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


Clean Air Communities, NESCAUM
Camden, New Jersey 
EPA Region 2

Clean Air Communities (CAC) is the recipient of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement. CAC is a nonprofit organization committed to local partnerships that advance projects to reduce air pollution and achieve energy efficiency in urban communities suffering from a disproportionate share of pollution. CAC was established in 1999 as a collaborative initiative of its parent organization, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Since its founding, CAC has built a coalition of diverse partners that has undertaken projects demonstrating environmental and community benefits, technical feasibility, cost-effective emission reductions, community leadership, and meaningful participation that includes education and outreach activities. In the last six years, CAC and its partners have invested $11 million in projects that provide benefits to local neighborhoods across New York City. The 14 projects engaged to date have also pioneered technologies and strategies that can be exported to other communities as CAC expands beyond New York. For its ground-breaking partnership approach and impressive benefits to the community and the environment, CAC was honored with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Award in 2002, and with one of the first Environmental Excellence Awards by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2005.

CAC, along with its partners, implement recommendations by the state’s Environmental Justice Task Force and the Air Toxics Pilot Project to reduce environmental risks to citizens of the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey, which is home to several industrial facilities, as well as a major terminal of the South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC). CAC will engage industry and local communities in awareness campaigns fostering continued dialogue between local industries and residents to educate these groups about sources of air pollution including port operations. CAC and its partners will also compile and analyze port vehicles and equipment, determine the best available technologies to retrofit diesel vehicles and equipment owned and operated by SJPC, then prioritize and carry out the vehicle and equipment retrofits.

CARE Partners: NJ Department of Environmental Protection, South Jersey Port Corporation, Heart of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Association, and South Camden Citizens in Action.