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EPA Selects Pine Bluff, AR, Site for New Brownfield Investment Grant to Boost Local Economy, Leverage Job Creation; 171 communities nationwide receive funding for cleaning up and redeveloping contaminated sites

Release Date: 05/28/2014
Contact Information: Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard, R6Press@epa.gov or 214 665-2200

DALLAS – (May 28, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the city of Pine Bluff, AR, will receive $200,000 to clean up a downtown site. Nationwide, 171 communities will receive 264 grants totaling $67 million in brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

“Over and over again, we have seen how Brownfields grants can kickstart the revitalization of a neighborhood,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “These grants will help Pine Bluff’s economy and increase the sustainability of the downtown community.”

The Pine Bluff site, at 601 South Main Street, formerly housed a gas station. While all structures on the site have been removed, including an unregistered waste oil tank, service islands attached to underground piping remain. Contamination at the site includes arsenic, barium, and other metals.

The FY14 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

A total of approximately $23.5 million is going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 44 states across the country; and over 50 of the grants are going to HUD-DOT-EPA grant recipient communities.

Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

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/

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