$80 Mil From EPA To Clean Up Underserved, Disadvantaged Communities
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has selected $78.9 million in brownfields grants to communities in 40 states, four tribes, and one U.S. Territory. This funding will be used for the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields properties, including abandoned gas stations, old textile mills, closed smelters, and other abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. As of March 2010, EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding, and 61,277 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed. Cleaning up our communities is one of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priorities, which leads not only to health and environmental benefits but also economic development and prosperity.
"To strengthen our economy, we must first strengthen our communities," said Administrator Jackson. "Cleaning up and revitalizing these contaminated sites opens doors to new businesses, new homes and new jobs for American workers while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier. This shows that what is right for the environment is right for the economy."
In total, EPA is selecting 304 grants through the Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants programs:
· 188 assessment grants, totaling $42.56 million, will conduct site assessment and planning for cleanup at one or more brownfields sites as part of a community-wide effort.
· 17 revolving loan fund grants, totaling $17 million, will provide loans and subgrants for communities to begin cleanup activities at brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low interest loans for brownfields cleanups.
· 99 cleanup grants, totaling $19.36 million, will provide funding for grant recipients to carryout cleanup activities at brownfield sites they own.
Since the beginning of the brownfields program in 1995, EPA has awarded 1,702 assessment grants totaling $401 million, 262 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $256.7 million, and 655 cleanup grants totaling $129.4 million. As part of Administrator Jackson’s commitment to this program, the 2011 proposed budget includes an increase of $215 million for brownfields with a focus on planning, cleanup, job training and redevelopment.
In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed. The brownfields law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands, sites contaminated by petroleum, or sites contaminated as a result of manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs (e.g. meth labs).
More information on the FY 2010 grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
More information on EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/