The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award approximately $4 million in grants to 20 communities across the country to assist with planning for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields properties. This funding is part of the Brownfields Area-Wide (BF AWP) Planning program, which aims to promote community revitalization by using cleanups to stimulate local economies and protect people’s health and the environment. EPA’s Brownfields program encourages the redevelopment of abandoned and potentially contaminated waste sites across the country.
“The EPA continues to respond to Brownfields challenges in communities of every size by encouraging strong public-private partnerships and promoting innovative and creative ways to assess, clean up and redevelop Brownfields sites,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The area-wide planning approach recognizes that revitalization of the area surrounding the Brownfields sites is critical to the successful reuse of the property as cleanup and redevelopment of an individual site. The locally-driven planning process will help communities create a shared vision for and commitment to revitalization.”
EPA will award up to $200,000 per recipient so they can engage the community and conduct Brownfields planning activities for an area, such as a neighborhood, downtown district, city block, former industrial area or local commercial corridor.
In 2010, EPA launched the BF AWP program as a pilot program with the goal of adopting a more broad approach into the existing Brownfields grant programs. Since its inception, all EPA’s Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $19 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has been able to leverage more than 87,000 jobs from both public and private sources.
This is the second round of grants awarded under the BF AWP program. EPA’s BF AWP program is part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities collaboration among EPA and the Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Partnership for Sustainable Communities ensures that the agencies consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection in concert to create healthier communities. The partnership is helping communities across the country to create attractive housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing infrastructure investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.
More information on the grant recipients: http://epa.gov/brownfields/areawide_grants.htm
More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/