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News Releases from Region 08

City of Aberdeen (S.D.) receives $300,000 to assess and revitalize properties

Funds to identify cleanup needs and redevelopment opportunities at several locations, including Washington School and Northwestern Railroad site

05/06/2020
Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (mylott.richard@epa.gov)
303-312-6654

Aberdeen, S.D.  -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the City of Aberdeen, S.D. will receive $300,000 Brownfields grant to assess and revitalize properties along the city’s Moccasin Creek corridor. The City is among 151 communities across the nation receiving over $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding through our Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant programs. Under President Trump’s Administration, EPA has delivered approximately $287 million in Brownfields grants directly to communities and nonprofits for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation, and economic development through the award of over 948 grants.

The City of Aberdeen will use the EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to inventory and prioritize sites and conduct 12 Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop six cleanup plans, conduct area-wide planning activities, and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the city’s Moccasin Creek Corridor, part of which lies in a Qualified Opportunity Zone. Priority sites include the former Washington School Building, a petroleum release site, a former dry-cleaning site, the Northwestern Railroad site, and the former Shopko site. 

“These EPA Brownfields funds will support environmental assessment and redevelopment projects at several targeted locations in the community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “We look forward to helping Aberdeen’s leaders as they address potential contamination concerns and create new economic opportunities and community assets.”

“This investment in Aberdeen is a welcomed one,” said Congressman Dusty Johnson. “I’m grateful the administration recognizes the importance of Aberdeen’s redevelopment and is focused on the safe cleanup of the city.”

Nationwide, this year, the agency is announcing the selection of 155 grants for communities and tribes totaling over $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding the agency’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Programs. These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities, including neighborhoods located in Opportunity Zones, in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Of the 151 total communities selected, 118 of these communities can potentially assess or clean up brownfield sites in census tracts designated in these zones. In addition, nearly 30% of the communities selected today will receive brownfields funding for the first time.

Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfields program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes, while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, brownfields grants are shown to:

  • Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.

  • Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.

Background

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States.  EPA’s Brownfields program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $1.6 billion in brownfield grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. To date, brownfields investments have leveraged more than $31 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding, from both public and private sources, leveraged more than 160,000 jobs.

The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on April 26-30, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association.

List of the FY 2020 applicants selected for funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2020-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-0

For more on the Brownfields grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

For more on EPA’s Brownfields program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

For more information about EPA’s role in Opportunity Zones: https://www.epa.gov/opportunity-zones

For information on the studies related to the Brownfields program’s environmental and economic benefits: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-program-environmental-and-economic-benefits