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EPA Announces $200,000 Brownfields Grant to Dubuque, Iowa, to Help Return Property to Productive Reuse, Promote Economic Redevelopment

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Ashley Murdie (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., April 25, 2018) - EPA has selected 144 communities for Brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up, and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.

As part of today’s announcement, the city of Dubuque, Iowa, will receive a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant. The grant funds will be used to clean up the 0.3-acre West Blum property located at 411 East 15th Street. The site is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals in the soil and groundwater. The grant funds will also be used to conduct community meetings to engage the surrounding community about the project.

“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

“Grant programs such as the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) are catalysts for change. The RLF offers an incentive and resources to promote private investment in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and assists with policies intended to address the causes and consequences of insufficient capital devoted to economic development,” said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. “This EPA grant program, as well as other initiatives offered by the EPA’s Brownfields division, help create the basic conditions that leverage private investment and public infrastructure improvements that enhance business activity and workforce development efforts to increase employment opportunities. These grants are critical tools that enable additional investments in communities.”

“We congratulate the city of Dubuque and applaud their continued commitment to the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties throughout their community,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “We’re proud to support this cleanup effort and look forward to positive environmental and economic impacts to come.”

The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform blighted sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million 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 EPA contributed to the cleanup of these brownfield sites. Furthermore, another study found that property values of homes located near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent after cleanup.

In addition, communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage water infrastructure loans and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used, under certain conditions, to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of brownfields.

See the list of the fiscal year 2018 applicants selected for funding

Learn more about the ARC grants

Learn more about EPA’s Brownfields Program

Learn more about how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities

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