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EPA: $111.9 Million in Grants for Contaminated Land Cleanup, Economic Development

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, 202-564-4355 / 7873 / jones.enesta@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – May 8, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of an estimated $111.9 million in grants bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to help communities clean up sites known as Brownfields, which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. Communities in 46 states, four tribes, and two U.S. Territories will share in these grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive business and community institutions. The grants include $37.3 million from the Recovery Act and $74.6 million from the EPA Brownfields general program funding.

“Cleaning
and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near Brownfields communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

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 development of America”s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

In all, 252 applicants were selected to receive 389 grants:

Assessment Grants are used to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more Brownfields sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
104 under recovery act funds totaling $25.8 million
149 under general program funds totaling $41 million

Revolving Loan Fund Grants provide funding for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out clean-up activities at Brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low interest loans for Brownfields cleanups.
3 under recovery act funds totaling $4 million
17 under general program funds totaling $18.6 million

Cleanup Grants provide funding for grant recipients to carryout cleanup activities at Brownfield sites they own.
39 under recovery act funds totaling $7.5 million
77 under general program funds totaling $15 million

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.

More information on FY 2009 Assessment Revolving Loan Cleanup:
http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm