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EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson Announces $1 Million Grant to Clean up Contaminated Land, Support BeltLine in Atlanta

Release Date: 06/02/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, 404-562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson Announces $1 Million Grant to Clean up Contaminated Land, Support BeltLine in Atlanta

Redevelopment of sites creates local jobs and greenspace

(ATLANTA – June 2, 2009) At a ceremony today in Atlanta, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced a $1 million grant to the City of Atlanta to clean up sites known as brownfields along the Atlanta BeltLine and other redevelopment corridors. The funds will be used to cleanup 10-15 local sites, contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants, which will be restored to help fuel the local economy. This move will help spur redevelopment, secure jobs and create greenspace.

“Rehabilitating these sites will protect human health and the environment and create new economic possibilities for these communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA is providing solutions in these challenging economic times, and making clear that – in Atlanta or anywhere else in the country – we don’t have to choose between a green economy and a green environment.”

“Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand,” said Stan Meiburg, Acting EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “This funding will help local efforts in transforming underutilized properties into community assets while providing a boost for the economy through the creation of jobs.”

Atlanta was selected to receive a $1 million in EPA Revolving Loan Fund grant, with $550,000 allocated for sites contaminated by hazardous substances and the remaining $450,000 allocated for sites contaminated with petroleum. The grant will be used to capitalize a revolving loan fund from which the City of Atlanta will provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities. Grant funds also will be used to manage the revolving loan fund, oversee cleanups, and support community outreach activities.

There are an estimated 950 brownfield properties within Atlanta. The city is focusing on sites along the Atlanta BeltLine and other redevelopment corridors. The BeltLine is a 22-mile transit greenway that circles downtown and midtown Atlanta. There are about 140 brownfields along the BeltLine and another
40 in the other targeted corridors. The grant is expected to result in the cleanup of 10 to 15 sites and help with cleanup and land-use planning of other sites.

A health impact assessment of the BeltLine found that brownfields redevelopment can help reduce urban
sprawl and lead to healthier communities by creating more greenspace and walkable areas. Cleanups funded through the Revolving Loan Fund grant will reduce potential human exposure to contaminants and help spur redevelopment of idle properties into economically productive uses and greenspace.

The grant will help to assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. 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 addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition.

The Brownfields Program encourages cleanup and redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 brownfields sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, EPA has awarded 1449 assessment grants totaling over $337.3 million, 242 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $233.4 million, and 534 cleanup grants totaling $93.3 million.

Additional information on the EPA Region 4 brownfields grant recipients and their projects is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/bf

Information on the national EPA Brownfields Program, including brownfields activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is also available at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields