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EPA Awards Brownfield Grants to Hennepin County and City of Duluth

Release Date: 06/24/2014
Contact Information: Anne Rowan 312-353-9391, 312-296-0883 (cell), rowan.anne@epa.gov

For Immediate Release No. 14-OPA091

EPA Awards Brownfield Grants to Hennepin County and City of Duluth

(Minneapolis, Minnesota -- June 24, 2014) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman today announced two brownfield assessment grants totaling $800,000 to promote redevelopment of contaminated sites in Hennepin County and Duluth, Minnesota. Hedman announced the new EPA grants at a meeting in Minneapolis hosted by Minnesota Brownfields, a statewide non-profit organization.

"These EPA grants are solid investments in the future of Hennepin County and Duluth – that will help transform contaminated sites into redevelopment opportunities,” said Hedman. “Hennepin County’s new EPA grant will promote redevelopment along transit corridors in neighborhoods with high unemployment. Duluth will use this EPA funding to help establish a new industrial park and more green space in the St. Louis River Corridor.”

EPA is awarding a $400,000 brownfield grant to Hennepin County to help redevelop six transit corridors including Bottineau, Central Corridor, Hiawatha, Lowry Avenue, Penn Avenue and Southwest. Currently blighted and underutilized, the county expects redevelopment along these corridors to attract companies and jobs.

“This grant will help us leverage public and private investments to improve environmental conditions and support job development along the transit corridors,” said County Board Chair Michael Opat. “Funding environmental assessments can be a critical piece that brings redevelopment projects and businesses to contaminated properties.”

EPA is awarding a $400,000 brownfield grant to Duluth to conduct environmental assessments in the Western Port, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park and Gary-New Duluth neighborhoods. EPA funds will be used to help redevelop the former Hardwood Manufacturing site, to establish a new industrial park, to complete trails and bikeways, and to promote mixed-use redevelopment in the city’s western neighborhoods.

“The EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant program plays a critical role in our plans for revitalizing the western neighborhoods of Duluth and specifically the St. Louis River Corridor,” said Duluth Mayor Don Ness. “We are grateful for the EPA’s support of our vision to reinvigorate Duluth’s economic base while preserving our most precious natural resources. Duluth has unique challenges ahead addressing its brownfields but we take this challenge on knowing that the outcomes of sustainable investments will create jobs and long-term stability for our community.”

Hennepin County and Duluth are two of the 171 communities receiving 2014 brownfield grants from EPA to clean up contaminated properties and boost local economies by redeveloping former polluted sites.

More information on brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/