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Oregon Business Development Department Awarded $614,000 Recovery Act Grant for Contaminated Land Clean Up and Local Job Creation

Release Date: 08/05/2009
Contact Information: Brooks Stanfield 206-553-4423, stanfield.brooks@epa.gov Mark MacIntyre, 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Portland, OR – August 5, 2009) EPA has selected the Oregon Business Development Department to receive $614,000 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 Oregon.

"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 sustain their programs in tough economic times.”

The Oregon Business Development Department will receive supplemental funding to provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities at as many as five shovel-ready projects identified by the Department that are contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. 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.

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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