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EPA: $3.6 Million in Grants for Contaminated Land Cleanup, Economic Development in Louisiana

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – May 8, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of an estimated $3.6 million in grants bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help communities in Louisiana clean up sites known as “brownfields” which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. The grants, which include $200,000 from the Recovery Act and $3.4 million from the EPA brownfields general program funding, help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“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.”

“The cleanup and reuse of brownfields not only renews damaged or vacant property, it also helps spur additional reinvestment in these communities over the long haul,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. “These Recovery Act and EPA grants will put people and property back to work in Louisiana.”

Applicants selected to receive Recovery Act funds are:
City of Alexandria - $200,000, assessment, to conduct environmental site assessments, conduct cleanup planning, and support community outreach activities in the downtown area and historical commercial corridors.

Applicants selected to receive brownfields general program funds are:
Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana - $200,000, cleanup, for InterTech Science Park in Shreveport;
City of Lake Charles - $200,000, assessment, to conduct environmental site assessments and support community outreach activities;
City of New Iberia - $200,000, cleanup, for Timeless Treasures site at 121 Bridge Street;
Jefferson Parish - $400,000, assessment, to identify new brownfields, conduct environmental site assessments and support community outreach activities;
Regional Planning Commission - $400,000, assessment, to conduct environmental site assessments for hazardous substances and petroleum and to support community outreach activities; and
South Central Planning & Development Commission - $2 million, revolving loan fund, to provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities for sites contaminated with petroleum and hazardous substances.

The grants will help to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. 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 addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition. The Brownfields Program encourages development of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

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 brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm .

Additional information on the EPA Region 6 brownfields recipients and their projects is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6sf/bfpages/sfbfhome.htm .

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