EPA Announces City of Houston to Receive $600,000 in Brownfields Assessment Funding
DALLAS – (May 26, 2021) Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the city of Houston, Texas, is among the 151 recipients of 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. The city plans to use their $600,000 assessment coalition grant to conduct site assessments, prepare cleanup plans, and develop outreach plans. Assessment activities will focus on four target areas, selected based on community need: the East End, Near Northside, Kashmere Gardens, and Gulfton. Coalition partners are the City of Houston and the Avenue Community Development Corporation.
This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients are receiving EPA Brownfields grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent serve small communities.
“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”
“Houston’s coalition of brownfields partners are thoughtful stewards of this funding, putting it to use in areas of the city where it can be truly transformative,” said Acting Regional Administrator David Gray. “EPA is proud support this work that will benefit neighborhoods and communities often overburdened by contamination.”
“With this award, we will be able to build on our ongoing work to ensure healthy and safe neighborhoods in our City and Compete Communities Initiative,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This award provides additional resources to educate the public, provide environmental assessment, and advance the transformation of formerly commercial and industrial sites to more suitable community uses like housing, parks, and supportive services.”
“The Land Bank’s mission is to transform vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties into neighborhood assets,” said Houston Land Bank CEO Anne Gatling Haynes. “The Land Bank is thrilled to help convene a coalition of public and not-for-profit organizations to identify sites and to deploy the resources provided in this grant in order to advance those sites to support community needs”
Today’s grant announcement includes:
- $8.8 million for 11 Multipurpose Grants, which will provide funding to conduct a range of eligible assessment and cleanup activities at one or more brownfield sites in a target area.
- $42.2 million for 107 Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
- $15.5 million for 36 Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example:
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
Connect with EPA Region 6:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eparegion6
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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