News Releases from Region 10
Washington State Department of Commerce Awarded $2.6 million Recovery Act Grant for Contaminated Land Clean Up and Local Job Creation
Release Date: 08/05/2009
Contact Information: Brooks Stanfield 206-553-4423, firstname.lastname@example.org Mark MacIntyre, 206-553-7302, email@example.com
(Olympia, Wash. – August 5, 2009) EPA has selected the Washington State Department of Commerce to receive $2,625,920 in Recovery Act funding to help protect human health and the environment. The money will provide loans and subgrants to help carry out cleanup activities, redevelopment projects, and create jobs for people living near contaminated sites known as “brownfields.” This grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will help turn rundown eyesores into revitalized, productive properties in the State of Washington.
"By protecting the environment and boosting the local economy, Brownfields programs help people where they live," said Michelle Pirzadeh, acting EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. “These revolving loan grants are often just the help our local partners need to get their programs up and running.”
The Washington Department of Commerce will receive supplemental funding for its brownfields revolving loan fund (RLF). These funds will enable the Department to provide loans and subgrants supporting cleanup activities at several pre-identified, “shovel-ready” projects. Many of these sites are contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum.
EPA chose to make this selection on the basis that the Washington Department of Commerce has previously demonstrated its ability to assist Washington communities through effective brownfields redevelopment loans. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low or no interest loans for brownfields cleanups.
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 (Brownfields Law) was passed. The Brownfields law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.
The Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, revolving loan fund grant recipients have executed 146 loans and awarded 41 subgrants to support brownfields cleanup totaling more than $76.8 million. The loan funds have leveraged more than $1.8 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and enabled the leveraging of 3,285 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.
To learn more information about Brownfields activities in Region 10, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/CLEANUP.NSF/sites/bf
More information on brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other EPA Brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm