News Releases from Region 06
EPA Announces $800,000 Grant to Oklahoma City to Support Brownfields Cleanups
DALLAS – (April 26, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the city of Oklahoma City held an event today celebrating an EPA revolving loan fund grant of $800,000 to support cleanup at Brownfields sites. The award is part $54.5 million EPA is distributing to 145 communities to assess and clean up underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment. With today’s grant, EPA Brownfields funding to Oklahoma City totals more than $10 million.
“Oklahoma City is among the nation’s top-performing cities for leveraging brownfields funding to build economic success,” said EPA Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “With this grant they can continue to show how blighted properties can become investments for the community.”
“It’s not unusual for property in and around downtown to have environmental issues,” said Mayor David Holt. “This area was formerly full of gas stations, dry cleaners, pump jacks, auto repair shops and auto salvage lots. Those uses left a legacy that presented challenges to new users. I’d like to thank the EPA for providing funding that helps put these valuable properties back into use.”
RA Idsal presented a check to Mayor David Holt at the Steelyard Apartments near downtown, with officials from the Oklahoma City Brownfields program also attending. The development is one of many businesses made possible through brownfields grants and cleanup funding. As with many abandoned or blighted properties, cleaning up lead contamination was part of transforming this former industrial site into a productive part of the Oklahoma City community and economy. In addition to Brownfields funding, EPA’s newly announced War on Lead will focus resources on lead abatement in soil and drinking water in communities around the country.
Today’s grant will be used to capitalize a revolving loan fund, from which the city can provide loans to support cleanup activities for sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Funds will also be used to prepare cleanup plans, oversee site cleanups, market the loan fund, and conduct community outreach.
The Brownfields Program provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated 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. Another study found that property values of homes located near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.
Communities can use brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used 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 (WIFIA) 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.
List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy18-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-grants
For more information on the grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
For more information on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories
For more about EPA’s work in Oklahoma: https://www.epa.gov/ok
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On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6
Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.htm
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