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Types of Brownfields Grant Funding

Summary of Grant Funding

EPA's Brownfields program provides direct funding for Brownfields assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, and environmental job training. To facilitate the leveraging of public resources, EPA's Brownfields Program collaborates with other EPA programs, other federal partners, and state agencies to identify and make available resources that can be used for Brownfields activities. In addition to direct Brownfields funding, EPA also provides technical information on Brownfields financing matters.

Assessment Grants

Assessment grants provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites. An eligible entity may apply for up to:

  • $200,000 to assess a site contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum), and
  • $200,000 to address a site contaminated by petroleum.

Applicants may seek a waiver of the $200,000 limit and request up to:

  • $350,000 for a site contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, and
  • $350,000 to assess a site contaminated by petroleum.

Such waivers must be based on the anticipated level of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) at a single site. A coalition of three or more eligible applicants can submit one grant proposal under the name of one of the coalition members for up to $ 1,000,000. The performance period for these grants is three years.

Fact Sheets

Other Resources

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants

Revolving Loan Fund grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfield sites. Through these grants, EPA strengthens the marketplace and encourages stakeholders to leverage resources to clean up and redevelop Brownfields. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.

Fact Sheets

RLF Webinar Series

Discounted Loans Policy

With the signing of the Brownfields law, new RLF grants, awarded under 104(k) from FY2003 forward, were left with no provision for the use of discounted loans. This policy meets this need, giving RLF grantees additional options to achieve cleanup goals, in keeping with prudent lending practices.

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (2 pp, 145K)
October 28, 2005

Cleanup Grants

Cleanup grants provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfield sites. An eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 per site. Due to budget limitations, no entity can apply for funding cleanup activities at more than three sites. These funds may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum).

Cleanup grants require a 20 percent cost share, which may be in the form of a contribution of money, labor, material, or services, and must be for eligible and allowable costs (the match must equal 20 percent of the amount of funding provided by EPA and cannot include administrative costs). A cleanup grant applicant may request a waiver of the 20 percent cost share requirement based on hardship. An applicant must own the site for which it is requesting funding at time of application. The performance period for these grants is three years.

Fact Sheets

Other Resources

Area-Wide Planning (AWP) Grants

The Brownfields area-wide planning (BF AWP) grant program provides funding for grantees to develop an area-wide plan for assessing, cleaning up and reusing catalyst/high priority brownfield sites. Funding is used for a specific project area, such as a neighborhood, downtown district, local commercial corridor, old industrial corridor, community waterfront or city block, affected by a single large or multiple brownfield sites. EPA currently offers BF AWP grants every other year, as funding is available.   View the Brownfields AWP Fact Sheet

This program was inspired, in part, by the area-wide, community revitalization approaches used by communities in the New York State Brownfields Opportunity Areas (BOA) program. View the June 2016 report Evaluation of the New York State Brownfields Opportunity Areas Program by New Partners for Community Revitalization and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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Stakeholder Feedback on the BF AWP Grant Program

EPA is interested in receiving stakeholder feedback on the BF AWP grant program!

  • If you wish to share comments on the program please email Aimee Storm, EPA's lead for the BF AWP grant program.
  • Review the stakeholder feedback webinar held on January 20, 2016. Webinar participants included current and past BF AWP grantees, technical assistance providers and other Brownfields stakeholders most familiar with the BF AWP grant program.

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BF AWP Projects (HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities)

The BF AWP Program is consistent with the principles under the partnership for sustainable communities (PSC) among the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and EPA. The partnership was conceived to advance coordinated infrastructure investment to improve economic prosperity and build healthy, environmentally sustainable, and opportunity-rich communities for all Americans, regardless of race or income.

Recognizing the fundamental role that public investment plays in achieving these outcomes, the Administration charged three agencies whose programs impact the physical form of communities—HUD, DOT, and EPA—to coordinate and incorporate the livability principles into their policies and funding programs to the maximum degree possible. The livability principles can be found at and include: (1) providing more transportation choices, (2) promoting equitable, affordable housing, (3) increasing economic competitiveness, (4) supporting existing communities, (5) leveraging federal investment, and (6) valuing communities and neighborhoods.

Reaching out to and coordinating with HUD, DOT, EPA programs and other federal and non-federal partners is highly encouraged throughout the BF AWP process. Learn about the PSC, including information on key resources, economic development and Brownfields redevelopment.

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BF AWP Tools & Webinars

BF AWP Climate Adaptation Checklist

The BF AWP Climate Adaptation Checklist is intended to help BF AWP grant recipients meet the grant term and condition for considering changing climate conditions throughout the course of their project.

EPA developed a matrix of various federal resources that are most likely to be of interest to our BF AWP grantees. This matrix is intended to help grantees have a better working knowledge of different federal programs and associated resources that might be available to help implement their brownfields area revitalization plans. This matrix is based on publicly available information sources, and most recently updated with FY15 funding levels. 

Ideas and Lessons Learned from the BF AWP Pilot Communities

EPA has compiled ideas and key lessons learned based on the experiences 23 pilot communities who started their BF AWP projects in 2010. Included in this report are ideas, advice and examples on project approaches that the pilot communities found particularly useful, constructive and effective for helping them successfully manage their process and develop a plan implementation strategy. EPA thanks the BF AWP pilot communities for sharing their experiences, ideas, lessons learned and project pictures.

Groundwork USA Technical Assistance & Webinars

Drawing from expertise of Groundwork Trust practitioners across the nation who have successfully implemented brownfields cleanup and reuse projects, Groundwork USA Exit is providing technical assistance support to the FY10 and FY13 BF AWP grant recipients through informational webinars and project networking, and also offers targeted direct technical assistance to a handful of grantee projects. Groundwork practitioners work with BF AWP communities to help build capacity around core project themes, including sustaining community engagement and how to make the transition from project planning to project implementation. Archived recordings of webinars held in 2014:

Federal Agency Coordination Webinars

These webinars highlight programs from federal agencies that can help communities implement their community revitalization and redevelopment projects. The sessions were designed to enable brownfields communities to become more familiar with how federal agencies operate locally and how their resources may be accessed/used.

CLU-IN webinar archives provides information on the five webinars that are archived are:

  • March 7, 2011: Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Webinar 1 (overview presentation of federal resources)
  • April 27, 2011: Area-Wide Planning Coordination Opportunities (presentation on DOT/ FTA & FHWA programs and resources)
  • May 5, 2011: Area-Wide Planning Coordination Opportunities: Economic Development Administration and US Department of Agriculture
  • June 29, 2011: Area-Wide Planning: Coordination Opportunities with HUD
  • February 8, 2012: Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Federal Resources - 2012 Update

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Current and Past BF AWP Grantees

21 Communities Selected for FY15 BF AWP Grants

In March 2015, EPA selected 21 communities across the country to receive BF AWP grants in FY15. EPA awarded up to $200,000 per recipient so they can engage the community and conduct brownfields planning activities to consider brownfield site cleanup and reuses in conjunction with community assets.

20 Communities Selected for FY13 BF AWP Grants

In spring 2013, EPA selected 20 communities across the nation to be awarded approximately $4 million in total grant funding. These communities used the grant funds (up to $200,000 per recipient) to develop area-wide plans and specific implementation strategies for integrating the cleanup and reuse of brownfield sites into neighborhood revitalization efforts.

23 Communities Selected for FY10 BF AWP Pilot Program

In fall 2010, EPA selected 23 communities to facilitate community involvement in developing an area-wide plan for Brownfields assessment, cleanup and subsequent reuse. The pilot program recipients each received up to approximately $175,000 in grant funding and/or direct technical assistance from the Agency. View the list of pilot project award recipients by state.

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FY10 BF AWP Pilot Project Fact Sheets and Project Websites

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FY2015 BF AWP Grant Guidelines

Proposals were due September 22, 2014.

FY2013 BF AWP Grant Guidelines

Proposals were due November 30, 2012.

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FY2010 BF AWP Grant Guidelines

Proposals were due June 1, 2010.

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Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Grants

Annual Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grants allow nonprofit and other organizations to recruit, train, and place predominantly low-income and minority, unemployed and under-employed people living in areas affected by solid and hazardous waste. Residents learn the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field, including assessment and cleanup. These green jobs reduce environmental contamination and build more sustainable futures for communities.

Fact Sheets


Success Stories

Other Federal Grants

Other Resources

State and Tribal Response Grants

Section 128(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, authorizes a noncompetitive $50 million grant program to establish and enhance state[1] and tribal[2] response programs. 

These CERCLA section 128(a) grants are funded with categorical State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG) appropriations.  Section 128(a) cooperative agreements are awarded and administered by the EPA regional offices. Generally, these response programs address the assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment of Brownfield and other sites with actual or perceived contamination. 

Learn about State and Tribal Brownfields Response Programs

[1]The term "state" is defined in this document as defined in CERCLA section 101(27).

[2]The term "Indian tribe" is defined in this document as it is defined in CERCLA section 101(36). Intertribal consortia, as defined in the Federal Register Notice at 67 FR 67181, Nov. 4, 2002, are also eligible for funding under CERCLA section 128(a).