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Two Brownfields Grants Awarded in Rhode Island -- Part of $75.9 Million Funded Nationwide

Release Date: 05/10/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017, deegan.dave@epa.gov

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2005; Release # dd050507

Boston - Two grants totaling $400,000 were awarded today by EPA to Rhode Island communities to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them from problem properties into community assets.

The funding will help pay to assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated parcels known as Brownfields. The funding is among $75.9 million of Brownfields grants announced this week by EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, including more than $11.6 million within New England alone. Brownfields are sites where suspected contaminants may be impeding revitalization.

"New England communities this year have once again faired very well in the distribution of Brownfields grants," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England regional office. "These funds will be a catalyst to make Rhode Island communities stronger and more whole, by spurring cleanup efforts and redevelopment of abandoned, contaminated parcels."

In Rhode Island, Brownfields grants to conduct community-wide site assessments were made to:

    • City of Providence - $200,000
    • Johnson & Wales University - $200,000
Since 1995, EPA has provided more than $108 million in grants and other funding for site evaluations, job training and cleanup loan programs to dozens of communities and agencies in New England, including more than $12.6 million in Rhode Island. EPA estimates that every acre of reclaimed Brownfields saves 4.5 acres of greenspace and every greenspace created, on average, has doubled the value of surrounding properties.

EPA's Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since its inception in 1995, the Brownfields program has awarded 709 assessment grants totaling over $190 million nationwide, 189 revolving loan fund grants worth more than $165 million, and $26.8 million for 150 cleanup grants.

Brownfields funds help communities assess contamination at abandoned and vacant sites and estimate the costs of cleaning up sites for redevelopment. Municipalities and select organizations can also receive funding for cleanup grants and to establish revolving loan programs that provide low interest loans for cleanups.

Legislation authorizing Brownfields was signed by President Bush in 2002, significantly boosting money available for restoring and revitalizing Brownfields properties, including thousands across New England.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to riverfront parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas station sites to housing. EPA's Brownfields assistance has led to more than $7.0 billion in public and private investment in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 31,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 5,100 properties.

For more information, visit the following EPA Web sites: