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Department of Justice

Program Description


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) does not have a specific brownfields reuse program, but it supports initiatives through the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO) that encourages redevelopment directly, through its Brownfield Special Emphasis Initiative, and indirectly, through the Weed and Seed Program. The CCDO aims to work with local communities to design strategies for deterring crime, promoting economic growth and enhancing quality of life.

Brownfields Connections


Financial Assistance

Brownfields Special Emphasis Initiative (found within Methamphetamine Lab/Environmental Activities)

In order to support community health and economic development, the CCDO provides funding through its Brownfields Special Emphasis Initiative. Applicants are encouraged to seek funding for brownfields activities from existing brownfields programs prior to seeking funding from the Weed and Seed program.

Eligibility Requirements: Only Officially Recognized Weed and Seed sites in good standing are eligible to apply for funding. Official Recognition (OR) designation is the first step in the federal Weed and Seed process. A community that is interested in becoming a Weed and Seed site must first notify the appropriate U.S. Attorney’s Office and then obtain a Weed and Seed Implementation Manual and the current Official Recognition Guidelines and Application. These documents can be downloaded from the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Web site

Availability: Only one Weed and Seed grant award per site per federal fiscal year is allowed. Unless otherwise noted Continuation sites may apply for a total of $225,000: $175,000 in core funding plus $50,000 for Special Emphasis Initiatives.

Uses/Applications: Grants and technical resources can be used for brownfields related activities including:

Technical Assistance

Weed and Seed Program

Weed and Seed’s law enforcement and community policing elements make up the “weed” portion, while the prevention, intervention, treatment and neighborhood restoration elements comprise the “seeds”. It is the program’s seed portion that may indirectly affect redevelopment by promoting revitalization activities in distressed areas where brownfields are located.


Website: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ccdo/welcome.html

East Palo Alto, California

The City of East Palo Alto, California is the location for the 130-acre Ravenswood Industrial Area. The Ravenswood area overlooks wetlands and the San Francisco Bay, and is located at the gateway to technology-based Silicon Valley, making it an attractive location for local industries. East Palo Alto continues to assess potentially contaminated properties in the Ravenswood area. EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) teamed up to assist the city by providing a federal staff liaison to work on brownfields and economic development issues, coordinate federal and state programs to meet the needs of East Palo Alto and identify assistance programs for which the city qualifies. The U.S. Department of Justice contributed conference travel funds to assist program administrators in East Palo Alto to attend professional development conferences. The program also established a Ravenswood Industrial Area Stakeholders Group to determine future land uses with assistance from EPA and HUD.

Additional Information

Karen Wardzinski
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 4390
Washington, DC 20044-4390

Sharee M. Freeman, Director
Community Relations Service
U.S. Department of Justice
600 E Street, NW, Suite 6000
Washington, D.C. 20530

Stephen Thom, Deputy Director
Community Relations Service
U.S. Department of Justice
600 E Street, NW, Suite 6000
Washington, D.C. 20530

Main Website: http://www.justice.gov/


Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Brownfields & Land Revitalization

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