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EPA and Florida Sign Brownfields Agreement

Release Date: 12/20/2005
Contact Information:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 20, 2005


CONTACT: FDEP, Anthony De Luise (850) 245-2116
CONTACT: EPA,
Dawn Harris-Young, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov, (404) 562-8421

-Agencies pledge cooperation to streamline restoration and redevelopment of contaminated properties -

TALLAHASSEE- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement recognizing Florida’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program as a means to expedite the cleanup of polluted properties and return them to productive use.

“This recognizes the two agencies’ commitment to the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Program,” said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Region 4 Administrator in Atlanta. “I look forward to continuing to work with Florida to promote environmental protection, economic development, and community revitalization through this program.”

This new agreement incorporates the requirements of the 2002 federal Brownfields Law and recognizes that cleanups conducted under Florida’s program may also satisfy the requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

“The Brownfields program allows for the restoration of the environment and revitalization of our communities." said DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. "Through this agreement we are streamlining the process and paving the way for the redevelopment of Florida's urban communities.”

The agreement represents a commitment by both agencies to work cooperatively to achieve protective cleanups at Brownfield properties in Florida, while preserving federal enforcement authority. The agreement, in part, promotes the Federal “One Cleanup Program”, facilitating assessment and cleanup of polluted properties under the most efficient state or federal cleanup authority, and assisting redevelopment and reuse.

It provides a clear statement of state and federal roles at polluted properties and provides for coordinated and consistent technical and regulatory guidance to property owners, prospective purchasers, public and private developers, citizens, local governments, and elected officials. The commitments expressed in the agreement by EPA will increase the number and rate of cleanups at sites and facilities throughout the state.

Brownfields are real properties where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The federal Brownfields program empowers states, communities and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together to assess, safely clean up, and reuse brownfields.

Since 1999, Florida has created 4,407 new direct jobs and 2,947 new indirect jobs, and realized $396,967,858 of capital investment in designated brownfield areas since the inception of the program.

More information about brownfields is available at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields
or www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/brownfields/default.htm .