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Oklahoma to get cleaner, greener with $2.6 million from EPA

Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or

More than $5 million in brownfields funding awarded across region

(Dallas, Texas – April 7, 2008) Several groups in Oklahoma will be working to transform polluted properties into community assets with the help of $2.6 million in brownfields grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The grants were announced today by EPA to support cleanup efforts by the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation, Latino Community Development Agency, Love Link Ministries, Inc., and City of Oklahoma City.

“EPA continues to use the brownfields program to stimulate environmental and economic success in our communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “This program is a great example of how EPA, tribes and local groups can work together to turn contaminated properties into viable developments.”

Brownfields are vacant, abandoned or under-used properties with redevelopment potential that suffer from known or perceived environmental contamination. More than $5 million in brownfields grants were announced today across EPA Region 6, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Oklahoma’s brownfields recipients include the following:

* Oklahoma City - $2.2 million to assess sites in the city’s Empowerment Zone, conduct community outreach, and provide funds to support cleanup activities. Former oil and gas exploration, scrap metal facilities, and chemical companies have left hazardous substances in several areas. Once cleanups are complete, the city plans to focus on residential, commercial and mixed-use redevelopment in its urban core.

* Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA) - $200,000 to clean up the former JC Penney building in the Capitol Hill District of Oklahoma City. The building is contaminated with asbestos, mold and lead paint. Future plans for the property include locating LCDA offices at the site, which will allow the agency to expand its child, social, and education services to the city’s Latino residents.

* Absentee Shawnee Tribe - $156,466 to clean up the seven-acre Old Lillard Pipe Supply site in Tecumseh. The site is contaminated with metals and drums of unidentified substances. Redevelopment plans include space for two businesses and an expanded tribal environmental training center.

* Cherokee Nation - $104,000 to clean up the Saline Courthouse site located near Rose. The property is contaminated with metals. Cleanup of the site is expected to increase tourism and stimulate the local economy; and

* Love Link Ministries, Inc. - $37,130 to clean up a vacant building on Linwood Boulevard in Oklahoma City. The site is contaminated with inorganic substances. Once cleanup is complete, Love Link plans to construct a landscaped parking facility at the site, which will enhance its ability to provide social services such as counseling, recovery programs, and an after-school youth program.

Since the beginning of the program in 1995, EPA’s south central region has leveraged $2.3 billion in brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, helped create 10,700 jobs and supported the assessment of 750 properties. The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Nationally, brownfields assistance has attracted more than $11.3 billion in private investment, helped create more than 48,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment and cleanup of nearly 12,000 properties.

Additional information on the brownfields recipients and their projects is available at

To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit

An EPA audio file is available at