Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Announce $1 Million Brownfields Grant for Dover

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) announced a $1 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Downtown Dover Partnership to rehabilitate and revitalize brownfield sites in Dover.

These investments are from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was co-authored and supported by Delaware’s Congressional Delegation and signed into law by President Joe Biden, to address legacy pollution, advance environmental justice, and create healthier communities. EPA selected the Downtown Dover Partnership for a Brownfields Multipurpose Grant to conduct six Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments, prioritize brownfield sites, and conduct community engagement activities in the City of Dover’s downtown area. Grant funds also will be used to clean up other properties in the Downtown Development District boundary of Dover.

“This is a perfect example of the positive impact of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Governor John Carney. “The brownfield work being funded will set the stage for the planned transformation of downtown Dover into a place where more people will want to live, work, and shop, and we appreciate the President and the federal delegation for making the funding possible.”

“When we were working on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, projects like this one – that not only clean up our environment but also help to create a nurturing environment for job growth and economic development – were top of mind,” said Senator Carper, Chair of Senate the Environment and Public Works Committee, who co-authored the legislation. “This funding is just one part of the larger vision for revitalizing our capital city, and I’m proud that all levels of government, the private sector, and community members are coming together to make this vision a reality.”

“Our state capital is constantly expanding, and this effort to address pollution there will only allow for even more growth,” said Senator Coons, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to spark improvements to the environment around us in Delaware and across our nation.”

“No matter their zip code, every Delawarean deserves to live – and thrive – in a safe and healthy environment,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester, member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “This is yet another historic investment in our state by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Senators Carper, Senator Coons and I were so proud to champion in Congress. Today’s announcement will strengthen our state’s capital community, all while investing in environmental justice and public health.”

“The Downtown Dover Partnership is so pleased to be able to expand work in environmental cleanup that has been a part of our service to the community for some time,” said Tina Bradbury of the Downtown Dover Partnership. “With this funding, we will be able to clean up sites that otherwise could not be developed due to current environmental issues, including several of the Partnership’s priority large-scale, mixed-use redevelopment project sites, as well as some more traditional storefront parcels. These sites will then turn into retail, housing, restaurant and community gathering sites – all vital parts of the Transforming Downtown Dover master plan.”

Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

“Today’s announcement invests more than $26,000,000 across the mid-Atlantic to support the revitalization of brownfields,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “This funding will help assess and cleanup contamination, create jobs by returning idle properties to productive reuse, and continue our progress toward a healthy and safe environment for all Americans.”

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities. EPA’s Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.