News Releases issued by OLEM
$74 Million in Grants to Give New Life to Old Properties
Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, 202-564-4355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C. – April 7, 2008) Communities in 43 states will share more than $74 million in brownfields grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. The grants, awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also go to two tribes and two U.S. Territories.
“By revitalizing and restoring neighborhoods nationwide, EPA’s Brownfields Program is proving that being a little green is doing a lot of good,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “These grants will help convert even more environmental eyesores back into sources of community pride.”
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 January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for brownfields grants. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what’s considered a brownfields, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.
In all, 209 applicants were selected to receive 314 assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants:
- 194 assessment grants totaling $38.7 million to be used to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfields sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
- 108 cleanup grants totaling $19.6 million to provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites they own.
- 12 revolving loan fund grants totaling $15.7 million to provide funding for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low interest loans for brownfields cleanups.
The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded 1,255 assessment grants totaling more than $298 million, 230 revolving loan fund grants totaling about $217 million, and 426 cleanup grants totaling $78.7 million.
In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas stations to housing. As of January 31, 2008, EPA's brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $10.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding and 47,201 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment. Assessments have been performed on 11,738 properties and 256 properties have been cleaned up.
More information on the grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields