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EPA Awards $350,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to Oklahoma City to Revitalize Urban Core

Release Date: 05/24/2012
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – May 24, 2012) Oklahoma City will receive a $350,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant funds will be used to perform 45 Phase I environmental site assessments and a comprehensive Phase II environmental site assessment at the Core to Shore Park site.

The Core to Shore Park project is a plan to increase connectivity within the urban core of downtown Oklahoma City to the shore of the Oklahoma River. The Core to Shore Park project will be a public and private sector partnership to revitalize 690 acres of the urban core, with a goal toward economic development and an increased quality of life for area citizens.

To accomplish this rebuilding, Oklahoma City has begun the process of acquiring properties for a 70-acre, $130 million grand civic park. These properties are in areas with past industrial activities and from Phase I work to date, it is known that a comprehensive Phase II environmental site assessment is needed.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. In 2011, the EPA’s brownfields program leveraged 6,447 jobs and $2.14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funds. Since its inception, the EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources that have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. Brownfields grants also target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which 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 was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.

See list of all awarded brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

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

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

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