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New Greenbridge Housing Site opens After DNREC, Habitat
for Humanity collaboration Remedies industrial property

 

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Air and Waste Management helped culminate a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in Wilmington by Habitat for Humanity for its new Greenbridge housing site.SIRB's Steve Johnson presents a key to new Greenbridge homeowner Kia Scott as Habitat for Humanity Director Kevin Smith looks on

DAWM's Site Investigation and Restoration Branch (SIRB) and Tank Management Branch each had a vital role in the construction project addressing environmental issues to ensure the site was safe for families to move into their new residences. Using funding from the Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act fund and a grant from the US Environmental Agency (EPA), SIRB conducted a site investigation and cleanup of residual contamination – primarily oil and petroleum.

The property has a long history of industrial and commercial use. Most recently, it was the site of a heavy-equipment repair and salvage business. To remedy the contamination, DNREC removed surface soil and replaced it with clean fill and top soil.

DNREC conducts site cleanups throughout the state. Sometimes known as “Brownfields” cleanups, the program involves efforts by both DNREC Site Investigation and Remediation Branch and the Tank Management Branch, which addresses petroleum and other leaks.

These cleanup programs are part of DNREC’s primary mission of protecting human health and the environment. They are also an important element of DNREC’s contribution to smart growth, with the goals of making Delaware more livable, and encouraging communities that are better suited to walking, biking and transit as transportation. 

Keenesha Turner gets the key to her new Habitat for Humanity Home flanked by Rev. Dr. Lawrence Livingston of Mother Africa UFCMP“Habitat for Humanity is one of our most valued partners in Brownfields development, and meets all of our preference criteria for funding cleanup projects,” James D. Werner, Director of DNREC's Division of Air and Waste Management, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Habitat for Humanity in New Castle County has been building affordable housing with low-income families since 1986. Habitat has built over 121 homes in New Castle County including Wilmington, Middletown, Newark, New Castle, and St. Georges. Habitat for Humanity-NCC is part of Habitat for Humanity International, and the largest affiliate in the Northeast for home construction.

The cleanup projects undertaken by SIRB and Tank Management are part of DNREC’s primary mission of protecting human health and the environment. They are also an important element of DNREC’s contribution to smart growth, with the goals of making Delaware more livable, and encouraging communities that are better suited to walking, biking and transit as transportation.  

"By cleaning up these urban sites, we not only remove environmental hazards, we  help rebuild communities where streets, water and sewer services already exist. We are also helping reduce air pollution with less reliance on automobiles as the sole option for transportation to work, shopping and school," Werner said.

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