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EPA Administrator Announces $2.9 Million to Clean Up Contaminated Sites and Revitalize Michigan Communities

Release Date: 06/06/2011
Contact Information: Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234, cassell.peter@epa.gov; Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 11-OPA50

EPA brownfields investments protect health, environment, create jobs and promote economic redevelopment

(CHICAGO – June 6, 2011) Today in Lansing, Michigan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced more than $76 million in new investments across the country that will help redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and help create jobs while protecting public health. EPA’s brownfields grants are used to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties like deserted gas stations or closed smelters. The City of Lansing is receiving a $1 million grant that the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will manage. Seven Michigan communities will receive a total of $2.9 million in funding.

"Revitalizing our communities is vital to our health and the health of our local economies," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. "The grants we're awarding to communities across America will support projects that will help create thousands of jobs and make our communities cleaner, healthier and more prosperous places to raise a family and start a business. They're part of our overall effort to clean up communities and put our nation on the path to a sustainable future."

The six other Michigan communities receiving brownfields grants or funds today are: Albion ($200,000); Charter Township of Northville ($200,000); City of Inkster ($400,000); Lenawee County ($200,000); Montcalm County ($400,000), and the Downriver Community Conference in Southgate ($500,000). Since 1995, 105 Michigan communities have received a total of $88.5 million for redevelopment projects. This has led to the creation of 8,694 new jobs and the leveraging of an additional $975.7 million worth of redevelopment in the state.

“For a struggling auto community at the epicenter of the national economic crisis, we depend on the power of brownfields funding to energize Lansing’s local economy and create jobs," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. "With the help of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who played a key role in an extraordinary public-private partnership, we have transformed an old, abandoned power plant on our downtown riverfront into a new engine of prosperity and job growth for Michigan. More than 1,500 people spent 800,000 work-hours to complete this massive project, and another thousand permanent jobs will be retained and created in Lansing over the next few years. With the additional funds announced today, we will be able to replicate this success and put even more of our citizens back to work.”

EPA today announced 214 grants through the Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants programs that will go to 40 states and three tribes across the country. There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. These investments help leverage redevelopment, promote economic growth and lead to job creation. Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources resulting in approximately 70,000 jobs. Brownfields grants also target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods—places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

In 2002, the law expanded the definition of brownfields to include mine-scarred lands, sites contaminated by petroleum, or sites contaminated from the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs (e.g. meth labs).

More information on the FY2011 grant recipients by State:
http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/pilot_grants.htm

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

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

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