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EPA to Present Brownfields Grant to Rio Grande Council of Governments

Release Date: 12/11/1998
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 Rio Grande Council of Governments during a December 14 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, as they depress nearby property values.

       This grant will be used to identify, assess and create redevelopment plans for Brownfields throughout a seven-county area in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The potential sites are scattered in small communities and rural areas which do not have the economic sources to improve them. They include abandoned small industrial sites, light manufacturing and utilities facilities, service stations and farming operations, as well as closed landfills and illegal dump sites.

       Transforming these Brownfields into hubs of economic activity will create new jobs, new revenue, new opportunities and new hope for families and communities throughout the region.

WHEN:  1 p.m., Monday, December 14, 1998

WHERE: Rio Grande Council of Governments
        1100 N. Staton, Suite 603