Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) mission is to be a strategic partner and advocate for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia. ARC is a regional economic development agency representing a unique partnership of federal, state and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, the Commission is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts with boards made up of elected officials, business people and other local leaders. Each year Congress appropriates funds, which ARC allocates among its member states. The governors draw up annual state Appalachian strategies and, with ARC approval, select projects to implement them. ARC projects include a safe and efficient highway system; education, job-training and health-care programs; water and sewer systems; housing; and other essentials of comprehensive economic development.
- Although ARC does not have any brownfields-specific programs, the agency’s current strategic plan seeks to raise awareness of and leverage support for the reclamation and reuse of brownfields. Brownfields are also a key element of ARC’s Asset-Based Development initiative. The agency has made numerous grants for brownfields-related projects since 1965.
- ARC entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EPA in fiscal year 2000 that calls for the two agencies to coordinate policies and activities in support of brownfields assessments, cleanup and redevelopment. ARC also participates in the Brownfields Federal Partnership and Mine-Scarred Lands working group — targeted to the three mine-scarred lands pilot projects located in Appalachia.
Area Development Program
Grants are awarded to projects that address the four goals identified by ARC in its strategic plan and that can demonstrate measurable results. Brownfields projects could relate to any of these strategic goals:
- Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation.
- Strengthen the capacity of the Appalachian people to compete in the global economy.
- Develop and improve Appalachia’s infrastructure to make the region economically competitive.
- Build the Appalachian Development Highway System to reduce Appalachia’s isolation.
Most ARC grants originate at the state level. Potential applicants should contact their state ARC program manager to request a pre-application package. The local development district serving the county in which the project is located may also provide guidance on a project's eligibility for funding and assistance in preparing a grant application.
Eligibility Requirements: Typically, ARC grants are awarded to state and local agencies and governmental entities (e.g., economic development authorities), local governing boards (e.g., county councils), and nonprofit organizations (e.g., schools and organizations that build low-cost housing).
Limitations: ARC funding is available for projects in 410 designated counties in the 13 Appalachian states. ARC focuses resources on distressed counties and designated distressed areas. Because individual states may limit ARC funding to specific areas, ARC program managers should be consulted for information on their state’s ARC funding priorities.
ARC expects grantees to contribute matching resources to projects — to the extent they are able to do so — and to seek additional non-ARC funding assistance in a diligent manner. ARC has specific requirements for matching funds; individual states may have additional requirements. State ARC program managers or local development districts can provide information about state matching requirements.
Availability: All applicants considering brownfields redevelopment activities should contact their state ARC program manager to request pre-application information.
Uses/Applications: Grants and technical resources can be used for brownfields related activities including:
- Planning and technical assistance to address brownfields problems
- Infrastructure needed to convert brownfields to new economic uses
- Conversion of obsolete industrial sites to public purpose.
Mine-Scarred Lands (MSL) Working Group
In July 2003, the MSL Working Group, which includes ARC, was established as a component of the Brownfields Federal Partnership. In order to learn about mine-scarred lands challenges and how federal, state and local entities can work together, the MSL Working Group identified six demonstration projects including three Appalachian coal communities. State and federal partners are providing resources and assistance to the communities to expedite redevelopment and create models that other mine-scarred lands can adapt in redevelopment.
Eligibility Requirements: Six pilot projects, three of which are located in the ARC region, have been selected and activities are underway.
Limitations: There are no plans for other rounds of demonstration projects. However, stakeholders interested in learning about current MSL efforts should contact ARC.
Availability: Assistance is currently being provided to the three Appalachian MSL pilot projects. Contact ARC for alternative options for assistance.
Uses/Applications (all apply to loans from intermediaries to ultimate recipients):
- Address acid mine drainage issues associated with mine-scarred lands
- Develop economic development plans
- Attract investors and private sector stakeholders
- Coordinate acid mine drainage cleanup with other infrastructure issues (e.g. waste water systems)
Appalachian Regional Commission
1666 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, DC 20009-1068
Main Website: http://www.arc.gov
ARC State Program Managers: http://www.arc.gov/index.do?nodeId=13
Local Development District Contacts: http://www.arc.gov/index.do?nodeId=20