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Land-of-Sky Regional Council Receives Brownfields Grant for Contaminated Land Clean Up and Local Job Creation

Release Date: 08/06/2009
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353, niles.laura@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – Aug. 6, 2009) The Land-of-Sky Regional Council of North Carolina has been selected by EPA to receive $660,000 to provide loans and subgrants to help carry out cleanup activities, redevelopment projects, and create jobs for local residents living near brownfields sites. EPA chose to make this selection because the Land-of-Sky Regional Council 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. This grant was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “This Recovery Act funding will help local efforts to transform underutilized properties into community assets and provide a boost to the economy by creating green jobs.”

Funds will be used to replenish the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), from which the Council will provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities at as many as three shovel-ready projects identified by the Council that are contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Of the $660,000, $360,000 will be used to address hazardous substance contamination and another $300,000 will go towards petroleum contamination.

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.

To learn more information about brownfields activities in Region 4, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/bf.

More information on brownfields cleanup RLF pilots and grants and other EPA Brownfields activities under the Recovery Act:

http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm