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EPA Announces $600,000 in Brownfields Grants to Flint Hills Regional Council to Help Return Properties to Productive Reuse, Promote Economic Redevelopment

04/25/2018
Contact Information: 
Ashley Murdie (murdie.ashley@epa.gov)
913-551-7785

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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 Flint Hills Regional Council of north-central Kansas will receive $600,000 in Brownfields coalition grants. The grant funds will be used to conduct up to 40 environmental assessments. The funds will also be used to prepare a GIS-enabled brownfields inventory; prioritize and select sites for environmental assessment; develop six cleanup plans and two reuse plans; and conduct community outreach.

Coalition partners are the cities of Junction City and Manhattan, and the counties of Geary, Lyon, Morris, and Riley.

“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.”

“This EPA funding will allow the Flint Hills Regional Council to identify contaminated sites in our region, design the cleanup of these sites, and plan for the economic development opportunities for the reuse of these sites,” said Flint Hills Regional Council Director Gary Stith. “Cleaning up the environment and creating opportunities for economic development is a double win for our region.”

“We congratulate the Flint Hills Regional Council 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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