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EPA Schedules Ceremony to Present Brownfields Grant to Brownsville

Release Date: 11/19/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Administrator Gregg Cooke will present a $200,000 Brownfields grant to the City of Brownsville during a November 24 ceremony.

       Brownfields are abandoned commercial sites that deprive communities of the opportunity to share in our nation's economic progress. Through the Brownfields program, the Clinton Administration is creating partnerships with government, business, community leaders and citizens to return these properties to the tax rolls, create jobs and restore a sense of community pride.

       Brownfields do not qualify as Superfund sites because they do not pose a serious public health threat. However, the stigma of any perceived contamination and legal barriers to redevelopment discourage businesses from buying these properties. They remain roped off, unproductive and vacant. Developers focus on "green" areas on the outskirts, while urban centers continue to deteriorate.

       This grant will be used to identify and assess Brownfields in the Buena Vida neighborhood, one of Brownsville's most economically distressed areas. It has been designated by the City as a Neighborhood Redevelopment Area and by the State as an Enterprise Community.

       The grant will help Brownsville citizens continue the redevelopment momentum created by the recent construction of a Federal Courthouse in the neighborhood. Transforming Brownfields into hubs of economic activity creates new jobs, new revenue, new opportunities and new hope for communities like Buena Vida throughout our nation.

       WHEN:  12:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 24, 1998

       WHERE: Across the street from the new Federal Courthouse at 600 W. Hamilton
              Brownsville, Texas

       WHO:   EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke
              Brownsville Mayor Henry Gonzalez
              Federal Judge Filemon Vela