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New York’s Niagara County to Receive Brownfields Grant for Contaminated Land Clean Up and Local Job Creation

Release Date: 08/05/2009
Contact Information: Mary Mears (212) 637-3673, mears.mary@epa.gov

(New York, NY) EPA has announced that Niagara County in New York State has been selected to receive $900,000 to provide loans and sub-grants to help carry out cleanup activities, redevelopment projects, and create jobs for local residents living near brownfields sites. EPA chose to make this selection on the basis that Niagara County has previously demonstrated their ability to assist their community through effective brownfields redevelopment loans. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low or no interest loans for brownfields cleanups. This grant was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“EPA’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Funds serve to empower local governments and organizations,” said George Pavlou, Acting Regional Administrator. “This money will be used to not only clean up contaminated eyesores in Niagara County, but it will create jobs for local residents. This is a win-win situation for the environment and the people of Niagara County.”

Niagara County intends to use the money to help fund four projects. The first is the Remington Rand Facility site in North Tonawanda, where past industrial activities have left the site contaminated and a cleanup will create an estimated 200 new jobs. Another project to receive funding is the Globe Metals project, which entails constructing a facility to manufacture solar-grade silicon for the solar energy marketplace and will create an estimated 500 jobs. A third project that will get funding is the River Road in the town of Wheatfield, which entails building a public park and promoting the development of new commercial and office facilities. Finally, the funding will go to the Harrison Place site, located in the City of Lockport, which will be cleaned up and re-developed so that it can generate tax revenue, create new jobs, and improve the quality of life for the surrounding neighborhood.

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 http://www.recovery.gov.

To learn more information about activities in Region 2, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/brownfields/

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

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