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Brownfields Grant, Trenton, New Jersey

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Trenton, New Jersey

June 20, 2003

Thank you, Jane (Kenny), for that introduction. As the head of the Department of Community Affairs when I was governor, Jane and I worked very closely B as she mentioned B to help revitalize New Jersey = s cities.

It's good to be able to come back and see the progress of those efforts and to help launch some new ones.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, I = ve had the pleasure of making a number of important brownfields announcements. From the signing by President Bush of landmark brownfields legislation last year, to the more than doubling of funds made available for brownfields reclamation, this Administration has proven its commitment to the environmental cleanup and economic revitalization of our Nation = s communities.

Today, I am pleased to announce another significant milestone in this Administration= s ongoing effort to restore America = s brownfields B the announcement of the first brownfields assessment and cleanup grants and revolving loan funds available under the new legislation. These grants B totaling $73.1 million and going to 176 communities in 37 states and 7 tribal communities across America B will help turn neighborhood eyesores into community assets, restoring hope and creating opportunity for the people who live nearby.

Each of these grants is the result of a true partnership among government at all levels, private sector lenders and developers, and members of the community. They show what good can happen when we all work together in pursuit of common goals.

That = s why I was pleased to read yesterday of Governor McGreevey = s commitment to brownfields redevelopment. It's another example, I think, of the positive boost that the law the President signed is giving to brownfields efforts at the state and local level.

And thanks to that new law, we can now direct funds to clean sites contaminated with petroleum products, such as abandoned gas stations. In fact, funding of $22.5 million B will be directed at petroleum brownfields.

In addition, for the first time ever, we are partnering with non-profit organizations in cleanup efforts. We will be working with 8 non-profits, community organizations, and faith-based organizations to reclaim the brownfields in their neighborhoods. Money invested in brownfields cleanups pays big dividends for the taxpayers and the environment. We have found that every dollar the federal government spends to restore a brownfield leverages almost two-and-half dollars in private investment. What = s more, every acre of brownfield that is reused saves 4.5 acres of precious greenspace.

Over the years, the brownfields program has leveraged nearly $5 billion in cleanup and redevelopments funds and generated more than 24,000 jobs. I am pleased that the City of Trenton is receiving grants today totaling $1.2 million to help them continue their brownfield reclamation efforts, which we have recognized several times. Altogether here in New Jersey, we are providing grants totaling $4.95 million. These grants will help assess and cleanup brownfield sites in such places as Bayonne, Gloucester City, Milltown, and Camden, as well as in Hudson and Passaic counties and other locations around the state. Together, these grants could leverage more than $12 million in private investment in the Garden State.

But more important, these grants will help advance a goal I have had for a long time B making the communities in which they are used better places in which to live, work, and raise a family.

Thank you.

Now, I am pleased to present a check for $1.2 million to Mayor Palmer and the City of Trenton.