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EPA Awards $4 Million for Brownfields / Most assistance to under-served, economically disadvantaged communities

Release Date: 10/15/2010
Contact Information: Latisha Petteway, petteway.latisha@epa.gov, 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355 / Stacy Kika, kika.stacy@epa.gov, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it is awarding $4 million in assistance to 23 communities, many in under-served and economically disadvantaged areas, to develop area-wide plans for the reuse of brownfields properties. Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response announced the grants today at an event in Cleveland, along with Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plans will integrate site cleanup and reuse into coordinated strategies to lay the foundation for addressing community needs such as economic development, job creation, housing, recreation, and education and health facilities. Brownfields are properties where the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants may complicate the properties’ expansion, redevelopment, or reuse.

"This area-wide approach recognizes that revitalization of the communities impacted by multiple brownfield sites or a large individual site – particularly in distressed communities – requires a strategy for area-wide improvement to attract investment to redevelop brownfields properties,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The approach also recognizes the importance of identifying and leveraging additional local, state, and federal investment to implement the plans.”

EPA will work with the selected projects in 18 states and one territory to identify ways the planning effort can utilize local, state and federal resources to help implement area-wide efforts for housing, transportation, economic growth and healthy communities. Recipients will be able to leverage the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint effort of EPA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Economic Development Administration, to identify potential resources to help move the community plans forward.

EPA will award up to $175,000 each per selected recipient to help facilitate community involvement in developing an area-wide plan for a brownfields impacted area, such as a neighborhood, district, city block or corridor. The assistance will be provided through grant funding or agency support. EPA and its partner federal agencies will work with the selected communities to:

Use the funds to identify potential future uses for brownfields properties.
Create a set of area-wide strategies that will help ensure successful assessment, cleanup and reuse of the brownfields sites.
Develop strategies for facilitating the reuse of existing infrastructure, including taking into account potential infrastructure investments needed to accommodate alternative future uses of brownfields properties.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities ensures that the agencies’ policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. This interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently. Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services meets multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives with each dollar spent. The partnership is helping communities across the country to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.

The partnership has released a new publication that looks at the progress the agencies have made in the first year. The document explains how the partnership has targeted resources to help communities strengthen their economies by developing more sustainably and removing regulatory and policy barriers to make it easier for state and local governments to access federal resources.

More information on the grant recipients: http://epa.gov/brownfields/areawide_grants.htm

More information on the partnership: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/partnership_year1.pdf