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EPA ADMINISTRATOR BROWNER ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE TO RESTORE SUPERFUND SITES TO PRODUCTIVE USE

Release Date: 07/23/99
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JULY 23, 1999
EPA ADMINISTRATOR BROWNER ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE
TO RESTORE SUPERFUND SITES TO PRODUCTIVE USE


Speaking today with community and business leaders at a Superfund site in Front Royal, Va., EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner announced that nearly $1 million in grants will be awarded to10 communities across the country under the EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative -- a new pilot program to help communities restore toxic waste sites to productive use. By the end of 2000, nearly $5 million in grants will be awarded to 50 communities throughout the country.
"This pilot program is another example of how we can both grow our economy and protect our environment, "Vice President Gore said. "This initiative will help protect the health of our people, speed the cleanup of toxic waste sites, and allow us to reinvest in our communities."

"Through this initiative, we will create jobs and encourage economic redevelopment in communities that are saddled with old abandoned hazardous waste sites," said Browner. "We will work cooperatively with local governments and businesses to clean up old toxic waste sites and transform them into new parks, neighborhoods or thriving commercial districts."

The sites announced today to receive the grants include: Pownal Tannery, Pownal, Vt.; Roebling Steel, Roebling, N.J.; Avtex Fibers, Front Royal, Va.; Escambia Treating Company, Pensacola, Fla.; Tar Lake, Mancelona, Mich.; Many Diversified Interests, Houston, Texas; National Mine Tailings, Park Hills, Mo.; Midvale Slag, Midvale, Utah; Frontier Fertilizer, Davis, Calif.; and McCormick and Baxter Creosoting Company, Portland, Ore.

Each community will receive up to $100,000 in the form of a cooperative agreement with the local government to conduct reuse assessments and public outreach to help determine the likely future use of the site. The national focus on redeveloping Superfund sites builds on the success the Administration has achieved in its Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative and relies on many of the tools that have been developed over the last six years under the Superfund Administrative Reforms.

Under the Brownfield’s program EPA has awarded over 300 brownfields grants, for over $69 million, to states, cities, towns, and tribes, building on the Administration’s record of ensuring a clean, safe environment and a strong economy. These grants have leveraged nearly $1 billion for redevelopment and created over 2,000 jobs. The Brownfield’s program is designed to empower states, local government and communities to develop public/private partnerships that restore abandoned sites to new uses, thereby increasing property values, stimulating tax revenues and revitalizing communities.

In addition to the 50 pilot projects, this Superfund Redevelopment Initiative will also include Superfund policy and guidance changes, partnerships with federal agencies and other organizations, and the exchange of information on how the redevelopment of Superfund sites has occurred in the past.

By working in partnership with states, tribes, other federal agencies, local government, communities, land owners, lenders, developers and responsible parties, EPA will determine critical factors that lead to the successful reuse of Superfund sites and will serve as a conduit for information exchange with other communities across the country. With these pilot grants, EPA will evaluate policies and make necessary changes to promote reuse of these sites. EPA also will create a searchable database that will serve as a clearinghouse of sites that are available for reuse.

For more information about the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative visit EPA’s web page at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle/index.htm or call the Superfund hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.


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