Newark, NJ is about to become a little healthier, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency. The city is one of 144 communities chosen to receive Brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants.

The big news was announced in April, and will arrive in the form of two grants totaling $400,000. Funds will be used to assess, clean up, and redevelop the old Berkowitz Fat Company site and the former Allen’s Amoco site in a manner that protects the public health and the environment.

“The EPA has recognized how important clean and healthy communities are by awarding Newark with invaluable financial assistance to clean up brownfield sites,” said Congressman Albio Sires in a statement. “Newark residents deserve to live free from worry that plots of land in their community are contaminated and hazardous, and this grant money will help address this.”

Revitalizing Two Hazardous Newark Sites

The Brownfields funding will be split evenly between the old Berkowitz Fat Company and the former Allen’s Amoco site. Both locations are currently contaminated with petroleum, so after the cleanup grants are exercised, the long-vacant land should be safe to return to the public sphere.

Located on Bay Avenue, the one-acre site of the former Berkowitz Fat Company is currently an inactive industrial complex. Built prior to 1931, the site was previously used for petroleum bulk storage and chemical storage. Beyond use for limited vehicle parking, the site has been mostly empty since 2007. At present, it contains 12 underground and aboveground storage tanks and is contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.

The decades-long home of Allen’s Amoco is located on Clinton Avenue. The 0.3-acre site was a gas filling and service station from approximately 1937 to 1991, when the structure was torn down and the property was abandoned. Vacant since, the site is home to six underground storage tanks and is contaminated with petroleum.

Thanks to the Brownfields program, both of these long-empty, public health hazards will soon be the focus of a major cleanup. The $400,000 in grant funding will also help create institutional controls and promote community engagement at both of the sites.

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