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EPA Awards $400,000 to Niagara County in Brownfields Assessment Grants

Release Date: 07/19/2011
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y. ) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Judith Enck today announced that Niagara County, New York has been awarded $400,000 to promote Brownfields revitalization at various locations throughout the County. She was joined in Niagara County by County Legislators Wm. Keith McNall, Rick Updegrove, and Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker at the former Dussault Foundry site in Lockport’s Lowerton Historic District, at which there was a successful County-led brownfields cleanup using in part EPA money. EPA also previously conducted an emergency cleanup of drums and other items at the site. Niagara County will use the new brownfields funds to identify and assess more former industrial and potentially contaminated sites so they can be cleaned up and put to productive use for local communities.

“EPA is continuing to assist Lockport and Niagara County turn contaminated sites into useful properties that will help clean up the legacy of pollution, redevelop neighborhoods and create jobs,” said Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “With this grant, Niagara County will help revitalize areas like downtown Lockport, leading to economic growth, and cleaner, healthier communities.”

“Lockport’s long industrial history also invites some environmental problems today, and we’re glad to be addressing them with our colleagues in city government and with the help of the EPA,” said Legislator Wm. Keith McNall, whose legislative district includes the Dussault Foundry site. “We’ve committed to a strategy of abating, rehabilitating, and remarketing brownfields because it’s right for our city economically, and it’s right for the health of our neighborhoods. EPA has worked as a true partner here, and we look forward to working with them further.”

Dussault Foundry is a former iron foundry that dates back to the early 1900’s. It has been abandoned since the mid-1990’s. Beginning in 2000, EPA funds have been used by Niagara County to assess contamination at the site and begin cleaning it up. In 2003, EPA removed drums of flammable and reactive materials, fuel tanks and more than 400 tons of foundry sand and debris from inside the plant buildings. Niagara County is currently using $200,000 in revolving loan funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for an asbestos abatement project at the site. When this is completed, the city and the county will begin to market the property to potential commercial tenants.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse 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 adopted by Congress 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. EPA’s Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

To date, Niagara County has received $3.25 million in Brownfields grant funding from EPA, including the funding announced today. Over $700,000 in EPA funding has been dedicated to remediating the Dussault Foundry site.

Of today’s grants, $200,000 will be used to assess Brownfields contaminated with hazardous substances and $200,000 will be used to assess sites contaminated by petroleum. In total, the county will assess approximately 28 properties using these funds, after which the County will be able to prioritize further cleanup efforts at these locations.

For more information about EPA’s Brownfields program, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.

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