Contaminated sites stemming from abandoned industrial and commercial properties are a problem. Other than being an eyesore, they can significantly prohibit the growth and economic development of their surrounding communities. It is for this reason the EPA announced on May 24th that they will be dispersing $69.3 million in grants towards new investments that will provide funding for communities to address these contaminated properties, redevelop them and in turn boost their economies, create jobs and improve and protect public health.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson believes that these properties can serve as the cornerstones for rebuilding struggling communities, “These grants will be the first step in getting pollution out and putting jobs back into neighborhoods across the country. Clean, healthy communities are places where people want to live, work and start businesses. We're providing targeted resources to help local partners transform blighted, contaminated areas into centers of economic growth.”
39 states across the US will see dollars sent their way through 245 grants that will be funded through the EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grant, and Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grants. With an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America, this program is essential to the economic survival of many pockets of the country. Brownfields grants target under-served and low income neighbourhoods – places where environmental cleanups and jobs are most needed. To date, the EPA’s Brownfields Program has contributed over $18.3 billion in cleanup and development funding and created approximately 75,000 jobs.