EPA awards $400,000 in Brownfields assessments grants to the city of Irving, Texas, to improve public mobility and access

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Dallas -- The city of Irving, Texas, will receive two $200,000 grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to inventory sites contaminated or potentially contaminated with hazardous substances and conduct five Phase I and two Phase II environmental site assessments. Petroleum grant funds will be used to perform the same environmental site assessments at sites with potential petroleum contamination.

The city has focused its brownfields redevelopment efforts within the targeted community that is encompassed by downtown Irving “Heritage Crossing” and the adjacent Irving Boulevard (Highway 356). The city’s targeted community encompasses approximately 2,500 acres and 50 brownfields sites.

The “Heritage Crossing” project plan is for mixed-use, transit oriented development that capitalizes on the Trinity Rail Express (TRE), a commuter rail system operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) that connects downtown Dallas and Fort Worth. The South Irving TRE/DART rail station is located on downtown Irving's Main Street.

Redevelopment of the Irving Boulevard Corridor will enhance and support the adjacent downtown Irving 'Heritage Crossing' improvements. Recommended roadway design improvements will function to slow traffic through the downtown area to be compatible with pedestrians using the South Irving TRE/DART rail station.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. In 2011, the EPA’s brownfields program leveraged 6,447 jobs and $2.14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funds. Since its inception, the EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources that have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. Brownfields grants also target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.

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