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EPA Encourages Revitalization in Auto Communities with New Document

Release Date: 09/04/2013
Contact Information: CONTACTS: Enesta Jones Jones.enesta@epa.gov 202-564-7873 202-564-4355 Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7849 milbourn.cathy@epa.gov

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a document that provides resources and information for communities affected by the recent restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. As these cities and towns move forward with efforts to rebuild sustainable and economically vibrant communities, the “Roadmap for Auto Community Revitalization” highlights case studies of auto towns, as well as sources of funding and technical assistance currently available to communities with historical ties to the automotive industry, or auto communities.

“Automotive sites are assets to recapture jobs, foster economic revitalization and pave the way to a more prosperous future for local communities,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The case studies and success stories show strategies for cleaning and redeveloping these sites that could inspire communities across the nation to take on these challenges and revitalize their auto Brownfields sites.”

Jay Williams, executive director of the Department of Labor’s Office of Recovery for Automotive Communities and Workers, noted that “the road to recovery for automotive communities is filled with challenges, but with those challenges come opportunities. The ’Roadmap for Auto Community Revitalization’ serves as a toolbox and addendum to the progress already being accomplished by the Obama Administration. With this document, our objective is to give communities further insight as they facilitate the effort of returning to economic vibrancy.”

These combined efforts were led by the mayors, city managers, economic development directors, and other elected and appointed officials who are driving auto community revitalization at the local level.

Flint, Mich. Mayor Dayne Walling, who serves as the chairman of the Manufacturing Alliance of Communities, commends the Obama Administration for releasing the Roadmap report. He said, “Cities such as Flint have faced the challenges from the restructuring of the auto industry, but we are coming back. With continued investment in auto communities, robust partnerships, and a focus on emerging sectors of economic innovation, we can keep America going strong on the road to revitalization.”

The Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs have provided a continuum of support to auto communities to assist them with their revitalization efforts. EPA’s Brownfields Program is making investments to help promote environmental health, leverage redevelopment and economic growth, and help generate job creation. Since its inception, EPA’s Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $20 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, investment of federal funding has been able to leverage more than 90,000 jobs from both public and private sources. As a result of this support, there are many success stories, some of which are detailed in this Roadmap document.

“Cities that face the challenge of a closed auto plant cannot look back – they must move forward toward new economic and community revitalization. I am pleased that the success in Oklahoma City is featured in this Roadmap report, excited that this report has been issued, and hopeful that it can provide best practices to other communities seeking to create new revitalization,” said Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City.

The document was developed in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Manufacturing Alliance of Communities.

To view the document: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields