News Releases from Region 8
City of Missoula awarded $900,000 Recovery Act grant for contaminated land clean up and local job creation
Release Date: 08/04/2009
Contact Information: Rich Mylott, EPA, 303-312-6654; John Adams, City of Missoula, 406-258-3688
(Denver, Colo. – August 4, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the City of Missoula to receive $900,000 in Recovery Act funding to help protect human health and the environment. The money will provide loans to help carry out cleanup activities and redevelopment projects, and create jobs for people living near contaminated sites known as “brownfields.” This grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will help turn rundown eyesores into revitalized, productive properties.
"These Recovery Act funds will help the City of Missoula create jobs and restore contaminated properties to productive reuse," said Carol Rushin, Acting Regional Administrator in EPA's Denver office. "These cleanups will leverage new business opportunities and will have a long-term impact on the economic vitality of the City."
The City of Missoula has identified several properties that are candidates for environmental cleanup, many located in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. The City will also use funds to build upon cleanup and redevelopment progress that has been made at the former Champion Sawmill site in the heart of downtown.
EPA chose to make this selection on the basis that the City of Missoula has previously demonstrated their ability to assist their community through effective brownfields redevelopment loans. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low or no interest loans for brownfields cleanups.
Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse 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 (Brownfields Law) was passed. The Brownfields law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.
The Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields program, revolving loan fund grant recipients have executed 146 loans and awarded 41 subgrants to support brownfields cleanup totaling more than $76.8 million. The loan funds have leveraged more than $1.8 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and enabled the leveraging of 3,285 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.
More information on brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other EPA Brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm