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News Releases from Region 06

Whitewright, Texas to Receive $200,000 from EPA to Revitalize Business District

Contact Information: 
Joe Hubbard (r6press@epa.gov)
Jennah Durant

DALLAS - (March 13, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the selection of the City of Whitewright, Texas to receive $200,000 to plan redevelopment and revitalization for the city's business district. The city will partner with Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG) to carry out the program as part of the Brownfields Area-wide Planning (AWP) program.

"Sustainability and resiliency become increasingly important to cities as they grow and as they adapt to the impacts of climate change," said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "The ability to leverage existing infrastructure is critical to improving access to affordable housing, more transportation options and lowering transportation cost while protecting the environment."

The City and TCOG will work with the local community and stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for addressing numerous sites located within the city's industrial center. The city was founded as a railroad community, and the downtown corridor includes numerous vacant and unused properties that were once connected to active railroad. Once completed, this plan is expected to inform the community about current conditions and status of these sites, develop steps to repurpose, address environmental health concerns, and connect parks, schools, and neighborhoods to the city's downtown area.

"Texoma Council of Governments looks forward to working with the city of Whitewright on this exciting project. The leaders and citizens of Whitewright have embraced the concept of planning for a better future and TCOG is proud to be a partner in this project," said Dr. Susan Thomas, TCOG Executive Director.

Other key partners with the project include the Whitewright Independent School District, the Whitewright Chamber of Commerce, Grayson Community College, Austin College, the Whitewright Economic Development Board and the Whitewright Community Development Corporation.

Modeled after New York State's Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) Program and part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities-a interagency partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and EPA-these grants recognize that successful, sustained community revitalization, particularly in economically distressed communities, occurs when neighborhood stakeholders, local governments and the private sector are provided tools to develop a shared plan for redevelopment and community-wide improvement.

Nationwide, 20 communities will receive EPA grants totaling $4 million in brownfield funding to assist with planning for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites.

For more information about the Whitewright's grant please visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/gfs/index.cfm?xpg_id=8795&display_type=HTML

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/

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