Revitalizing Southeastern Communities: A Brownfields Toolkit
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The Region 4 Perspective
Brownfields are abundant in the Southeast, in the smallest towns and largest cities -- empty warehouses, decrepit factories, vacant corner gas stations, and junk-strewn lots. EPA Region 4's Brownfields program began over a decade ago, as part of a Nationwide EPA effort to initially provide seed money to communities for inventorying brownfields and assessing contamination. States, Tribes, local governments and non-governmental organizations have joined this effort, creating collaborative local and regional approaches to revitalization.
To address Brownfields, we are proud to say that since the passage of the 2002 Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, also known as the Brownfields Law, EPA Region 4 has awarded 56 brownfields grants in fiscal years 2003, 2004 and 2005. Totaling an excess of $14 million, these competitive EPA brownfields grants continue to help revitalize numerous communities throughout the Southeastern states. Types of grants include assessment, cleanup, Revolving Loan Fund and Job Training.In addition, EPA Region 4:
- provides financial support to establish or enhance our 8 State programs and the Seminole Tribe of Florida program so they can meet the challenges of brownfields cleanup and redevelopment; and
- conducts Targeted Brownfields Assessments. These single-property assessments are designed to help communities on a more direct basis.
The Brownfields program is an integral part of our overall Revitalization Initiative. Our Brownfields Team provides grant oversight and technical assistance to active grantees in the region.
Each year at the National Brownfields Conference, the Phoenix Awards are given to honor Brownfields sites that are innovative, yet practical remediation projects, which bring blighted, old commercial and industrial sites back to productive use. The Phoenix Grand Prize for Excellence in Brownfields Redevelopment was awarded to Louisville, Kentucky’s "A Riverfront Reclaimed" in 2002 and to Atlanta, Georgia's "Atlantic Station" in 2004.
EPA Region 4 will continue to implement the program to protect human health and the environment, enhance public participation in local decision-making, build safe and sustainable communities through public and private partnerships, and recognize that environmental protection can be the engine that drives economic redevelopment. In order to keep current on the ever-changing Brownfields program, please refer to http://www.epa.gov/region4/rcra/bflr/brownfields.html.