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EPA Announces $1.3 Million for Brownfield Cleanups and Job Training in Milwaukee

Release Date: 09/20/2012
Contact Information: Joshua Singer, 312-353-5069, singer.joshua@epa.gov (news media only)

(MILWAUKEE – September 20, 2012) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Susan Hedman today joined Mayor Tom Barrett at the Century City business park on the west side of Milwaukee to announce brownfield grants totaling $1.3 million to redevelop contaminated properties, create employment opportunities and provide job training.

"These EPA grants are an investment in Milwaukee's future,” said Hedman. “They will be used to make the environment healthier and the economy stronger.”

"A century of industrial work left this land with real issues that had to be addressed before we could bring new jobs to this location," Mayor Tom Barrett said. "The EPA has been a strong partner in our efforts."

“We take pride in our success helping Wisconsin communities revitalize old brownfield properties,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “So it’s very exciting to see the progress at Century City and we look forward to a future for Milwaukee that includes a renewed and economically vibrant 30th Street Corridor.”

Century City is the 84-acre city-owned business park where Tower Automotive once produced auto frames, military equipment and electric motors. The City's redevelopment authority will receive a $400,000 brownfield grant to clean up petroleum contamination at Century City, bringing the total of EPA brownfield funding for this site to $2.35 million.

In addition EPA is awarding the City of Milwaukee:

    $200,000 for environmental job training. The City will use this funding to train at least 80 Milwaukee residents for environmental remediation work and other green jobs.
      $200,000 to clean up hazardous substances at the Esser Paint site at 1542-46 North 32nd St. and 3131 W. Galena St. The former paint and stained glass manufacturing complex has been vacant since 1999 and is contaminated with heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and other substances. The Esser Paint site is part of the 30th St. Industrial Corridor, a historic industrial and residential area on the near west side that includes Century City.
        $500,000 for a Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund to provide loans to clean up contaminated sites in Milwaukee. When borrowers repay these loans, funds will be available to clean up other sites. This will provide an ongoing source of capital to reduce contamination and blight in Milwaukee.

      In 2012, EPA brownfield grants totaled approximately $69 million nationwide. Since 1998, EPA has awarded over $15 million in brownfield grants to Milwaukee.

      See a list of all awarded brownfield grants by state:
      http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

      More information on EPA’s brownfields program:
      www.epa.gov/brownfields/

      More information on brownfield success stories:
      www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm