Jul 19, 2016

U.S. EPA Announces 33 Entities Funded by Brownfields Program

Supplemental Revolving Loan Funding provided from $10.7 million grant package

EPA, revolving loan funding, brownsfields program, missouri

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that 33 entities nationwide will receive supplemental Revolving Loan Funding (RLF) from a $10.7 million package of grants from EPA’s Brownfields program. Entities include locations in Missouri, California, Oklahoma, New York and New Jersey. EPA plans to helping more than 40 communities carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects.

In Missouri, the city of Springfield will receive $500,000, Kansas City will receive $300,000, and the state's Environmental Improvement & Energy Resources Authority—a quasi-governmental environmental finance agency administratively assigned to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources—will receive $113,000.

“These funds—going to communities [that] have already achieved success in their work to clean up and redevelop Brownfield sites—will help revitalize distressed communities, improve public health, encourage innovation and boost local manufacturing opportunities," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management. “RLF funding is often the key to addressing critical financing gaps to leverage private sector resources to make cleanups and reuse of properties happen.”

In California, EPA will provide $700,000 in supplemental funding to Humboldt County and California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to help communities carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects.

DTSC anticipates funding cleanups will enable the development of community parks in disadvantaged communities in Emeryville, Calif., and the Los Angeles area. The city of Emeryville is participating in a public-private partnership to revitalize the Emeryville Public Market into the nation’s first LEED Platinum for Neighborhood Development community. The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust proposes to clean up lead-impacted soil from the Holmes Avenue Community Garden property in Willowbrook, Calif.

Humboldt County plans to use RLF funds to expand ongoing lead abatement work in low-income homes as part of a revitalization effort in a disadvantaged community. The funding also may be used to clean up an abandoned rail yard.

Tulsa, Okla., will receive $300,000 in supplemental funding to help clean up contaminated properties.

“Tulsa is a nationwide leader in revitalizing neighborhoods by leveraging EPA Brownfields grants to clean up abandoned, contaminated properties,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “From the BOK Center to the Mayo Hotel, Tulsa has shown that environmental protection and economic development can go hand in hand.”

New York City will receive $200,000 to clean up an abandoned contaminated property at 131-66 40th Road and 40-42 College Point Blvd., which eventually will be operated as an eight-story, 77,460-sq-ft health center to expand access to the medically underserved in Flushing. Once completed, this facility is expected to result in 143 permanent jobs.

Rochester, N.Y., will receive $200,000 to clean up an abandoned and contaminated property located in a New York State En-zone. The specific site has not yet been finalized. En-zones are census tracts that meet certain poverty and unemployment criteria. Cleanup activities are expected to help with continued manufacturing at the site and will afford opportunities for future redevelopment and investment.

Jersey City, N.J., will receive $400,000 clean up two abandoned contaminated properties, which will be used to construct parkland and affordable housing.

The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority will receive $200,000 for the cleanup of a site at the intersection of Dwight Street and Ocean Avenue. Upon completion, the property will be transferred to a nonprofit housing developer for the construction of 64 affordable residential units and 5,000 sq ft of retail space in this underserved community. 

The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority also will receive $200,000 for the cleanup of a site at the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Woodward Street. Once remediated, this site will be redeveloped into 3.4 acres of additional parkland as a second phase of Berry Lane Park.

“Cleaning up brownfields sites allows abandoned and contaminated sites to be put to good use as parks, new housing and businesses,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “This funding will help create jobs while protecting the health of area residents and improving the environment."

The supplemental funding to each grantee ranges from about $200,000 to $500,000, and helps maintain momentum so that more cleanups can be completed. These funds are provided to communities that have already succeeded in cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield sites. Collectively, these communities already have leveraged more than $600 million in cleanup and redevelopment investments. To date, the RLF grantees receiving supplemental funds have completed more than 66 cleanups and provided more than 300 loans and sub-grants.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the U.S. Since the inception of EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative investments have leveraged nearly $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. These investments have resulted in nearly 109,000 jobs nationwide.