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News Releases from Region 07

Muscatine, Iowa, to Receive Tech Assistance for Sustainability through EPA’s Greening America’s Communities Program

Contact Information: 
EPA Region 7 - Chris Whitley (whitley.christopher@epa.gov)
EPA Headquarters - Robert Daguillard (daguillard.robert@epa.gov)
202-564-6618, 202-564-4335

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., June 23, 2016) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Muscatine, Iowa, is one of six communities selected to receive technical assistance with sustainable design strategies under EPA’s Greening America’s Communities (GAC) program for 2016.

The other five communities chosen for GAC assistance are Columbia, S.C.; Brownsville, Texas; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Multnomah County, Ore.

“EPA is excited to roll up our sleeves and start working with the next round of cities through Greening America’s Communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This program is another example of EPA making a visible difference in communities – helping build healthy, vibrant neighborhoods and stronger local economies centered on environmental sustainability.”

In the coming months, EPA will fund a team of designers to visit each selected city to create designs that will support a larger planning and implementation process for a pilot area. Through the Green America’s Communities program, these teams will provide assistance to help communities use green infrastructure and other environmentally friendly designs to create more walkable, bikeable, and vibrant neighborhoods.

Muscatine will receive GAC assistance for the Grandview Avenue Corridor Project, which involves the redesign of former U.S. Highway 61/Iowa Highway 92, leading into the south side of the community. Jurisdiction of this segment of the highway, now known as Grandview Avenue, was transferred to the city in 2014. The Grandview Avenue Corridor Project will help turn the street into a safer gateway into downtown for both cars and bicycles.

In other communities receiving assistance from EPA’s GAC program in 2016:

  • Columbia will create designs to protect an urban stream and create a greenway that will minimize flooding and establish a walkable connection through the Capital City Mill District.
  • Brownsville will add green infrastructure to the International Greenway along the U.S.-Mexico border to manage stormwater, create a more walkable street, and add shade and plants to cool an area experiencing higher temperatures due to climate change.
  • Oklahoma City will use green infrastructure to minimize flooding from a local stream and make improvements to streets in four neighborhoods that will increase safety and improve quality of life for residents.
  • Honolulu will receive assistance to design street improvements and green infrastructure to better support walking and economic development around two planned rail stations.
  • Multnomah County will create designs for streets and public spaces in the Jade District to address heat island and air quality issues, manage stormwater, bolster infill development, and support the character and concerns of the surrounding community.

Under the GAC program, formerly known as Greening America’s Capitals, EPA has helped 23 capital cities and the District of Columbia with sustainable design strategies. Results from previous GAC projects include:

  • Little Rock, Ark., received more than $3.2 million in public investment to revitalize Main Street.
  • Charleston, W. Va., received a $650,000 grant from the U.S Department of Transportation for Slack Plaza redesign.
  • Lincoln, Neb., invested over $1.5 million from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant and from local funds to add green infrastructure and other improvements along 11th Street.
  • Baton Rouge, La., has secured $250,000 to begin detailed design of the Downtown Greenway and $100,000 for construction on the first section of the greenway trail.
  • Phoenix, Ariz., spent $575,000 to complete the first phase of bike lanes and other road improvements along Grand Avenue.
  • Montgomery, Ala., has spent $1.3 million of local funds to make improvements to the historic Selma to Montgomery Trail.

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