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EPA Selects Long Island Communities to Receive $565,000 in Brownfield Grants to Revitalize Blighted Properties and Promote Economic Redevelopment

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Tayler Covington (

(New York, N.Y.) North Hempstead and Southampton, New York are among 144 communities selected for Brownfields Environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The two grants totaling $565,000 will provide the communities with funding to assess, clean up, and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment. A total of $54.3 million will be provided to Brownfields sites nationwide.

“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

“Brownfield grants are helping communities throughout our region unlock the unmet economic potential of contaminated and unused lands,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez.  “EPA is pleased to be an active partner in promoting the cleanup and reuse of Brownfields properties. Once cleanup is complete, the site can be put to reuse with the potential to bring in valuable private sector development, jobs, and additional tax revenue.”

The EPA has selected the following Long Island communities to receive a total of $565,000 in Brownfield grants:

North Hempstead, NY – $300,000

EPA has selected the Town of North Hempstead to receive two $150,000 community-wide Brownfields assessment grants. One grant will be used to assess Brownfield sites for hazardous substances and the other grant will be used to assess sites for potential petroleum contamination. Grant funds will be used to rank Brownfield sites, conduct community engagement activities, and develop reuse and cleanup plans. Assessment activities will focus on the New Cassel community. Potential redevelopment plans for the area include an open space plan, a bicycle/pedestrian path network, and enhancing the visual character of the area to attract new businesses and provide amenities for residents and visitors.

“Receiving this grant would be a huge benefit to the community of New Cassel and the revitalization of the area,” said the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth.  “Being able to conduct in-depth environmental studies and assessments is pivotal to attract both new residents and developers to fulfill the community’s vision for enhancing community facilities, establishing new parks and recreation and creating a more attractive, walkable, and livable New Cassel.”

Martin “Bunky” Reid Park in the New Cassel community of North Hempstead, NY.

Photo courtesy the Town of North Hempstead.

Southampton, NY – $265,000

EPA selected the Town of Southampton to receive two Brownfields assessment grants focusing on sites in Riverside, located within the watershed of the Peconic Estuary. The town will receive a $174,500 community-wide petroleum grant and a $90,500 community-wide hazardous substances grant. The Town of Southampton plans to redevelop the blighted properties to alleviate potential health and safety concerns and implement green building designs in an economically viable plan. Grant funds of both types will also be used for community engagement activities and to select and prioritize sites.

“The Town of Southampton is grateful for the funding and partnership provided by the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to our application for a Community-Wide Brownfield Assessment Grant, following New York State designation of the Hamlet of Riverside as a Brownfield Opportunity Area,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “Receipt of this Grant will allow the Town to move forward with further assessment and clean-up of targeted properties as we continue our efforts to transform this economically disadvantaged and blighted Hamlet into a vibrant focal point on the banks of the Peconic River at an important gateway to the Town of Southampton and Long Island’s East End.”

The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform blighted sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 Brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these Brownfield sites. Furthermore, another study found that property values of homes located near Brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between five and 15 percent after cleanup.

In addition, communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage water infrastructure loans and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used, under certain conditions, to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of brownfields.

List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding:

For more information on the ARC grants:

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program:

For more information on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities:

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