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News Releases from Region 06

Denton County Transportation Authority to receive $178,200 from EPA to assess environmental hazards

EPA issues $56.8M to redevelop vacant and unused properties across the country

05/31/2017
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Denton County (Texas) Transportation Authority is one of 172 winners across the country selected to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization efforts. A total of approximately $56.8 million will fund selected recipients for brownfield site assessments and clean up. These initial steps towards redeveloping vacant and unused properties help transform the sites to productive reuse, benefiting the community and the local economy.

“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”

“It’s large piece of property that once it is usable again, we hope some heavy industrial type businesses can relocate there,” said Donna Barron, City Manager for the city of Lewisville. “We have had so many successes with the properties that we have chosen to have assessments conducted on.”

“If we can put this land to good use, it can contribute to the overall benefit of the community,” Jim Cline, President, Denton County Transportation Authority said. “Any time we can cleanup a landfill or any other kind of potential environmental impact, it has a clear benefit.”

The Denton County Transportation Authority received one hazardous substance grant and one petroleum grant, totaling $178,200 in funding. The grants will be used for environmental assessment at a site on State Highway 121 in Lewisville, Texas. Activities will focus on a vacant tract of 46 acres formerly used as farm land, a gravel mine, a junkyard and a landfill.  

Approximately $17.5 million of the assessment and cleanup funding announced today will benefit small and rural communities with populations less than 10,000.  Approximately $25 million will go to communities who are receiving assessment and cleanup funding for the first time.  Selected recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 - $600,000 in funding to work on individual sites or several sites within their community. These funds will provide communities with resources necessary to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed. Brownfields assessment and cleanup activities bring sites strides closer to realizing their full potential, while protecting public health and the environment.

Addressing and cleaning up sites across the nation will ultimately boost local economies and leverage redevelopment jobs while protecting public health and the environment. Brownfield sites are community assets because of their locations and associated infrastructure advantages. Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between five and 15.2%. The study also determined that brownfield cleanup can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million the EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfields.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America.  As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements. 

Video footage of the site with interview segments: https://youtu.be/9Xwcf314DgY

List of the FY 2017 applicants selected for funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-current-news-and-events

More on EPA’s brownfields program:  https://epa.gov/brownfields

More on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories

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Activities in EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central

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