CHICAGO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approximately $3.8 million in new pilot grants to nine recipients across the country for cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. The pilot Multi-Purpose grants, funded by EPA’s Brownfields program, will help recipients to conduct assessments and cleanup activities, and secure funding to eliminate delays in moving from assessment to cleanup. The investments will continue to provide communities with necessary funding to help clean up America’s land, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health.
“Investment in the clean up and reuse of contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near Brownfields communities. This funding will help foster local economic growth and leverage jobs in communities where they are needed most,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. “A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”
Bay City, Michigan, received a $400,000 Brownfields multi-purpose grant. Bay City has a development agreement to transform a 43-acre downtown, riverfront brownfield site into a LEED-certified, mixed-use, $150 million commercial and retail center with more than 25 buildings, anchored by a globally significant corporation guaranteeing at least 440 new high-tech jobs.
The nine grant recipients represent communities in need of redevelopment across the country. More than half of the grantees have been affected by recent plant closures. In addition, five of the nine communities are located in non-urban areas with populations of 100,000 or less. The nine multi-purpose grant communities demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake their specific project and many already have committed leveraged funds necessary to move their projects forward as well as detailed redevelopment plans and anticipated leveraged jobs.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. EPA Brownfields program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. Brownfields grants target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
Since inception in 1995, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. In 2012, EPA awarded $69.3 million to 245 grantees in 39 states across the country to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
More information on brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/
More information on EPA’s Brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
More information on brownfields success stories: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm