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News Releases from HeadquartersLand and Emergency Management (OLEM)

What They Are Saying: Trump Administration’s Cleaning Up Contaminated Sites Across the Country

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WASHINGTON (June 10, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited the Strasburg Superfund site in Newlin Township, PA, where he announced EPA’s annual Superfund Accomplishments Report documenting national achievements in the Superfund program during FY 2019. The Superfund program addresses the nation’s most contaminated sites and is a key priority for the Trump Administration. The report also documents improvements to the program as a result of the Superfund Task Force work under EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

Here's what elected officials and other key stakeholders said about fiscal year 2019 work:


U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT): Launching progress and securing a final cleanup decision at the legacy Silver Bow Creek mine site in Butte, Montana “is big news for the folks of Butte-Silver Bow. After nearly four decades, this agreement brings us one step closer to not only a solutions-driven cleanup, but also removing the stigma of the Superfund listing by 2024.”

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (MO-07): “Putting once-contaminated Superfund sites back into safe, productive use throughout our communities provides huge benefits to taxpayers, and I commend Administrator Wheeler and the agency for its work on this important issue.”

U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03): “The Southside Superfund site is the perfect location to welcome Administrator Wheeler and highlight the positive impact of the Superfund Task Force. The EPA’s ongoing success in Chattanooga is a testament to their ability to deploy Superfund resources to remediate contaminated sites, protect the health and well-being of our communities, and revitalize previously underutilized hubs of economic potential. I am thankful that Southside was added to the National Priorities List and that EPA officials continue to prioritize the safety of area residents. As East Tennessee expands and attracts further economic investments, I thank Administrator Wheeler and the expertise of EPA officials for the work they have done to advance the prosperity of our region.”

Village of Gowanda, New York Mayor David Smith: Deleting the Peter Cooper Site from the NPL was “the culmination of decades of work to turn what was once a staple of toxicity and danger into a multimillion-dollar, multi-use recreation. The deletion is the ultimate statement to magnify this work.”

Ohio State Representative Scott Lipps: When speaking about the plan to build luxury apartments with commercial space and a brewery at the Peter Cartridge site in King Mills, Ohio said, “This will not only preserve history for residents but will become an economic driving force, you’ll have people that live, work, play there, which overall contributes to a better quality of life for the entire community.”

Harris County, TX Attorney Vince Ryan: “Harris County's work with the EPA and TCEQ on the cleanup of the San Jacinto Waste Pits is a great example of how government, at all levels, can work together for the common good. The announcement on October 11, 2017, that the EPA's cleanup remedy will include the removal of 212,000 cubic yards of dioxin-laden waste from the beds and banks of the San Jacinto River has been a highpoint in my administration. Today’s announcement furthers my commitment to work together as we get closer to the goal.”  


Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit: When speaking about the April 2019 consent decree approved to address cleanup of dioxin-contaminated sediments at the Centredale Manor Restoration Superfund site said, “We are pleased that the collective efforts of the state of Rhode Island, EPA, and DOJ in these negotiations have concluded in this major milestone toward the cleanup of the Centredale Manor Restoration Superfund site and are consistent with our long-standing efforts to make the polluter pay. The settlement will speed up a remedy that protects public health and the river environment and moves us closer to the day that we can reclaim recreational uses of this beautiful river resource.”

Oklahoma Secretary of Energy & Environment Ken Wagner: “Thank you to Administrator Wheeler and the Superfund Task Force who have energized the program and been a catalyst for getting these contaminated sites cleaned up. In Oklahoma, we are particularly grateful for the Administrator’s Emphasis List that has resulted in a substantial funding as well as a long-term strategy for the cleanup of the Tar Creek Superfund site in Northeastern Oklahoma. The plan brings together the Quapaw Nation, the state of Oklahoma and EPA for a collaboration that has a real chance to make a significant difference.”

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Executive Director Toby Baker: “The TCEQ appreciates EPA’s efforts on the Superfund Taskforce recommendations. We look forward to our continued successful partnership with EPA to ensure proper and timely cleanup of Texas federal Superfund sites.”  

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers: “We applaud EPA for its continued efforts to help clean up and restore historically contaminated sites through the Superfund program. The Southside Chattanooga Superfund site is a place where federal, state and local partners came together in response to circumstances that required thoughtful community action and cleanup. It is a fitting backdrop for today’s announcement.”

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein: “Collaboration is a vital component of environmental protection. The coordination between EPA and DEP can and does result in improved environmental restoration which ultimately means better protection of our air, water and land. DEP is proud to work with EPA towards our mission of protecting public health and the environment by addressing our state’s Superfund contaminated sites. The recent completion of restoration work at the Fairfax Wood Treaters Superfund Site in Jacksonville is a shining example of successful cooperation where the facility is cleaned up and can now serve a beneficial use in that community.”

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Bruno Pigott: “The significant progress that has been made at these sites and others around the state would not be possible without our strong partnerships with local government and the EPA. We will continue our efforts to return these properties to productive use.”

Walpole, Massachusetts Health Director Robin Chapell: When speaking about returning the Blackburn & Union Privileges site back to productive use serving the community said, “It’s become the gem for Walpole. We use it, our seniors are here, other groups come here, everyone has contributed. We have a walking trail, a police station. From a blighted, underutilized site, it’s now vibrant, used, aesthetically pleasing.”

[Former] Commissioner, Bristol Township, PA Robert G. Loughery: Returning land to communities by creating green space in Croydon Township, Pennsylvania “was Win, Win, Win, across the board, adding value to the quality of the neighborhood, which in the end is increasing home values, tax revenues, it’s a rising tide, lifting all boats.”


Karen Reif, Vice President of Renewables and Energy Solutions for Public Service Electric and Gas Co.: “The Cinnaminson Solar Farm continues the work of our Solar 4 All program by putting landfill space with very limited development options to good use in the production of clean, renewable solar energy. Our solar projects are just one more way that PSE&G is working to advance New Jersey energy policy and provide a clean energy future for our state.”

Josh Bryson, Project Manager with Atlantic Richfield Company: When speaking about the final cleanup decision for the Silver Bow Creek superfund site in Butte, Montana said, “I feel relieved, and I truly feel it's a momentous day for the community of Butte. First and foremost, it’ll protect the environment and human health. And beyond that, really, it’s a road map of opportunity for this community to move forward.”

Jeff L. Marshall, President, Heritage Conservancy on Croydon TCE Site, Bristol, Township, Pennsylvania: “Property had been abandoned…people didn’t care about it…Since we’ve taken over, we have reversed decades of abuse and neglect, the community has said, 'this is now ours,' now taking care and appreciation. Working with EPA was critical to the process. We wouldn’t have invested, risked acquiring it, unless we were sure EPA was behind us, in the sense of – this is what you have, these are the risks, this is what we are doing to mitigate the situation, and that at this foreseeable time, we think that tide has turned and this site is safe.”

$6.9 million in Brownfields Revolving Loan Funds

Administrator Wheeler also announced the agency is providing $6.9 million in supplemental funding for 25 current successful Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (Revolving Loan) grantees at the former Mercury Newspaper headquarters, located in an opportunity zone in Pottstown, PA. The RLF supplemental funds are being provided to communities that have demonstrated success in using their Revolving Loan program to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The funds will be used to continue their progress in reusing vacant and abandoned properties and turning them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, and commerce opportunities.

Here’s what people are saying around the Regions:

Region 1

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME): “We welcome this announcement that will mean so much for the health and safety of Maine communities. By cleaning up the hazardous waste materials, each community can safely reuse these spaces in a productive manner that will increase quality of life. In addition, this significant investment from the EPA will create quality jobs for Maine people, contribute to economic growth, and help push our state towards a sustainable and cleaner future.”

U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01): “As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, I know that Brownfields grants offer a tremendous opportunity for our cities and towns to clean up hazardous sites and promote new economic growth. Across Maine, local economies have benefitted from the infusion of federal capital that comes from the EPA Brownfields program, allowing previously unused property to revitalize communities and create jobs. I’m glad to see such a large EPA investment come to Maine, and I look forward to all the projects that are completed through this funding.”

Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Jerry Reid: “Brownfields Revolving Loan Funding provides the much-needed resources to reduce and/or eliminate risks associated with contamination, allowing Maine municipalities and developers the opportunity to move their projects forward. The partnership with DECD has been a win-win for Maine’s economy and environment.”

Greater Portland Council of Governments Director of Municipal Collaboration Tony Plante: “GPCOG is excited receive additional EPA funding to continue its work helping to clean up properties and have them contribute once more to the prosperity of our region. Through EPA’s ongoing partnership and funding, and leveraging private investment, GPCOG will continue to help add housing, support business, and strengthen the economy of Greater Portland and the Lakes Region.”

Department of Economic and Community Development Tax Incentive Programs Director Andrea K. Smith: “BRLF dollars have been instrumental in providing the State of Maine a tool to assist communities with the clean-up of hazardous waste sites, both to eliminate eye sores and to make them attractive for redevelopment efforts. These supplemental funds will help DECD, in partnership with DEP, continue those efforts throughout the State.”

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission Economic Development Director Chuck Morgan: “Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission has implemented a successful Brownfields revolving loan fund and assessment program for over a decade, leveraging over $200 million through the  assessment and clean up funds we have received through EPA. Our success could not have been achieved without our partnership with the EPA Brownfields Program and its Region 1 staff.”

Region 2

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ): “These federal dollars are critically important to protecting the health and well-being of people living in Camden, while unleashing the potential for new economic opportunities. As a former mayor, I know this vital funding will be used to continue Camden’s resurgence and allow the community to make use of what was previously a blighted public hazard.”

U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01): “As our country faces more than one public crisis, protecting the health of our community is more important than ever – and this federal funding will provide a safer environment for Camden residents. This investment will help us continue to improve our city by turning a contaminated property into a community resource. It’s amazing to witness Camden’s historic transformation, and this grant will bring economic opportunities to the area both during and after the cleanup, in addition to making our community a better and safer place to live.”

Camden Mayor Frank Moran: “I commend Congressman Donald Norcross, Senator Bob Menendez, and Senator Cory Booker for this funding commitment and thank the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its dedication to ensuring productive and healthy environmental outcomes here in Camden. Ensuring a high quality of life for all Camden residents must remain our top priority. The environmental transformation of Camden’s contaminated sites into clean spaces is essential to our City’s success. With the help of our partners at the EPA and Camden Redevelopment Agency, the City continues to have opportunities to reinvent these brownfields, leverage federal and state resources, and attract new commercial, lite manufacturing and industrial uses which will create well-paying jobs for Camden residents.”

Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation Mark McIntyre: “We are thrilled to learn of additional funding for the city’s RLF program. We look forward to continuing our partnership with EPA Region 2 in offsetting land cleanup costs of community developers building 100% affordable housing developments in low income neighborhoods across the city.”

Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Rebecca Wydysh: “For the past 20 years Niagara County has been a leader in brownfield efforts and the grant award from the federal government will further build upon our progress of remediating brownfield sites throughout the County. Niagara County’s remediation program has successfully helped cleanup sites in urban, rural, and suburban municipalities and brought new uses to abandoned properties while generating additional tax revenue and creating new jobs.”

Niagara County Brownfield Program Manager and President of the Niagara County Brownfield Development Corporation Amy Fisk: “Cleaning up and reinvesting in brownfields helps revitalize the local economy, protects human health and the environment, removes blight and turns community liabilities into assets. The new grant funding will be used to provide low interest loans to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites in the County. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the USEPA.”

Region 5

U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN): “Brownfield cleanups are an important initiative championed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and I’m pleased the Trump Administration is sending $300,000 to clean up contaminated land in Indiana. As a Main Street Entrepreneur, I know these grants will help with economic development and communities across the Hoosier State.”        

Indiana Public Finance Director Dan Huge: “This award of RLF supplemental funding to the state will further advance Indiana's success in cleaning up brownfield sites and helping communities improve their economies. This funding will support Governor Holcomb’s priority to continue cultivating our strong and diverse economy in Indiana and serve as a vital aspect in turning blighted brownfield sites into neighborhood assets.”

Region 7

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK): “I am glad to see the EPA award both the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Tulsa with a $300,000 Brownfields grant today. The Brownfields program continues to strengthen our communities in Oklahoma and across the nation. These grants help communities transform formerly unusable sites into thriving businesses, like the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa or Bricktown in Oklahoma City, allowing for economic growth and revitalization of our local economies, which is especially important as we continue to battle this global pandemic. I am glad to have had a part in this by authoring and ensuring passage of the bill reauthorizing the Brownfields program in 2018 and I look forward to seeing what new opportunities these sites will bring.”

U.S. Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01): “I am glad to see that my state, and my hometown, have been awarded these grants by the Trump administration to help revitalize our local economies. I support the innovative nature of these grants, and I am excited to see how American ingenuity is maximized by these resources. Hard earned tax dollars will be used to turn property that was otherwise useless, to be clean and safe properties that provide more opportunity for economic growth that moves us all forward to a brighter future.” 

U.S. Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-05): “The Brownfields program has helped Oklahoma by transforming once-vacant properties into community assets, especially for many under-resourced neighborhoods. As we face the COVID-19 crisis, protecting public health and restoring jobs in our community are more important than ever. This federal funding will provide a safer environment and facilitate job growth for Oklahomans."

Region 8

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT): “Cleaning up these brownfields takes formerly unused properties and redevelops them into critically needed space for parks, small businesses, and housing, spurring job growth and strengthening local economies along the way. These sites are packed full of unrealized potential, and investing in them is a win both for the environment and the economy.”

Region 9

U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02): “Cleaning up brownfields is good for the environment and the economy. Contaminated areas are dangerous blemishes that keep communities from using these lands to the fullest. It’s great to see the county and the hard-working Timber Heritage Association responsibly address lead contamination on this Samoa property. This grant is a great reinvestment for the county that will go a long way in revitalizing working lands and the communities that depend on them.”

Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Doss “This is an outstanding example of what can happen when community partners come together with a common goal in mind.  Not only will this benefit those partners, even more so, it will benefit the greater community at large. The Samoa peninsula is truly Humboldt County’s diamond in the rough that is beginning to shine as the gem it is.”

Humboldt Bay Harbor District Vice President Larry Doss: “It is exciting to see the success of the long journey to this milestone of housing and showcasing key Humboldt history. The buildings, the contents and the land speak to the amazing ingenuity of the local pioneers and their Redwood story.”