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Roanoke wins EPA grants for potential redevelopment

Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567 seneca.roy@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (April 7, 2008) -- Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's brownfields program will help the city of Roanoke, Va. assess and clean up abandoned industrial properties for potential redevelopment.

"Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand. These grants will help Roanoke reclaim properties that have been unused for years and turn those sites into assets for the community, the environment, and the economy," said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region.

EPA announced today that Roanoke will receive two brownfields grants totaling $400,000. The grants include $200,000 to help clean up the Virginia Scrap site, 1620 Jefferson St., so that it can be marketed for commercial and medical development. The second Roanoke grant will provide $200,000 to assess other properties in the city's downtown district and industrial corridor, which is expected to provide opportunities for redevelopment and growth in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

Roanoke is one of 209 communities nationwide receiving more than $74 million in brownfields-related funding. Brownfields are generally abandoned industrial properties where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination. EPA estimates there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

Brownfields grants continue to serve as the foundation of EPA's brownfields program. These grants support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training activities. Brownfields assessment grants provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.

More information on the brownfields program and brownfields grants is available at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/index.html .