CAMDEN, NJ — What used to be the Borden Chemical Site — a steam heating manufacturing facility that operated in 2.7 acres of land from 1906 to 1983 — will be the biggest benefactor in Camden of Brownfield Grants awarded to New Jersey on Wednesday.

More than $2 million of the New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds have been earmarked for Garden State communities. 

Nearly $800,000 of the grant money will be dedicated to Camden, state officials said.

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The chemical site, an example of the type of contaminated sites New Jersey looks to transform into “community assets” using the grants, is located at 1625 Federal Street.

The state agency estimated that between 1980 and 1983, more than 700 drums were removed from the site — which currently sits vacant — as part of its decommissioning. 

“This is incredible news for Camden residents and a tremendous boost towards remediating the contaminated sites that remain in our community,” Mayor Frank Moran said. “Camden still carries the environmental burden and cleaning up costs associated with our industrialized past. Remediation of the Borden Chemical Site will serve as a catalyst for redeveloping four other City-owned sites along a corridor prime for light industrial redevelopment.”

Elsewhere in the city, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership received $299,451 to help spruce up land in North Camden, including 80 acres of land “of suspected brownfield sites along the waterfront. 

Using the funds, Cooper’s Ferry will launch the North Camden Community-Wide Assessment Project. 

The focus of the program will be to launch community outreach programs and identify potential hazardous sites in need of assessment.

“We are excited to work with local leaders and residents to continue the momentum created by an investment in North Camden’s parks, housing, youth services, and workforce training,” said Kris Kolluri, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “The [project] will target areas designated for development in the North Camden neighborhood of the City of Camden, New Jersey where about 80 acres of land, equivalent to 29 percent of the neighborhood’s total parcel area, are recognized as identified or suspected brownfields.” 

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