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News Releases from Region 06

EPA and the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma clean and revitalize property with EPA grant

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 (May 31, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma is one of 172 communities and tribes 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.

Acting Regional Administrator Sam Coleman said, “EPA brownfields grants help communities turn abandoned sites into economic drivers. Transforming these sites benefits local economies, communities and the environment.”

The project will help Tribal Elders in Kickapoo continue practicing cultural traditions which involves gathering cattails and reeds. The Kickapoo Tribe received a $200,000 hazardous substances cleanup grant. The funds will be used to clean up a former gymnasium on tribal land near McLoud, Oklahoma. Built in the 1960s, the building served as a community gathering place for traditional sports, dancing and cultural activities. The building has sat in disrepair since it closed in 2010, and is contaminated with various substances. Grant funds will also be used for outreach activities.

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. 

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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On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6    

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

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