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EPA Announces $600,000 for Brownfields Projects in Virginia

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: David Sternberg, 215-814-5548

PHILADELPHIA – (May 8, 2009) -- Two communities in Virginia will share an estimated $600,000 to help assess, clean up and revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. The grants, to be awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, include $200,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and $400,000 from the EPA brownfields general program funding.

"Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand," said William C. Early, acting administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region. "Along with generating new jobs, these grants will help bring productive use to community eyesores that have been unused for years and turn them into assets that benefits the community, the environment, and the economy."

The town of Pulaski in southwestern Virginia will receive a $200,000 brownfields assessment grant from Recovery Act funds. Pulaski was a late 19th century manufacturing center noted for heavy industry and manufacturing. When businesses closed, consolidated or relocated, Pulaski was left with about a dozen abandoned and deteriorated sites that total almost 60 acres.

The city of Hampton in Virginia's Tidewater region will receive $400,000 from the brownfields general program. The city's economy historically relied on industry, commerce, and the military. Downsizing and closure of several major local employers have resulted in increased unemployment.

The grants will help to assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition.

The Brownfields Program encourages cleanup and redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 brownfields sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, EPA has awarded 1449 assessment grants totaling over $337.3 million, 242 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $233.4 million, and 534 cleanup grants totaling $93.3 million.

For additional information on the EPA Region 3 brownfields program, visit .

Information on the national EPA Brownfields Program, including brownfields activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is also available at