EPA Announces the Selection of Five Projects in New York’s Mohawk Valley, Capital District and on Long Island to Receive $2.8 Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
The grant awards help underserved communities Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that five entities in New York’s Mohawk Valley, Capital District and on Long Island have been selected to receive a total of $2.8 million to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program. Nationwide, 151 communities will receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants.
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 will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.
“Cleaning up brownfields helps protect the environment and serves as a catalyst to jumpstart much needed economic growth in New York communities, often in historically underserved areas,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “These grants address decades-old sources of pollution and bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders who work in concert to make their communities better and more sustainable places to live, work and play.”
The five selectees and projects are:
- Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, Inc. ($300,000 assessment grant): Community-wide grant funds will be used to inventory sites and conduct eight environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop four reuse plans and support community outreach activities. Priority sites in Fulton County include a former municipal landfill, a vacant former chemical supply company, an active dry-cleaning facility, and an abandoned leather tannery located in a residential neighborhood.
- Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank ($800,000 multipurpose grant): Grant funds will be used to update a brownfields site inventory, select sites for investigation, and conduct 15 environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to clean up five properties, develop six reuse plans, and support community outreach activities. The target area for this grant is a 20-mile stretch of land along the Erie Canal Corridor that includes the Villages of Canajoharie and Fort Plain and the City of Little Falls. Priority sites include a vacant mixed-use apartment building in Little Falls, an abandoned high school and large vacant properties in Fort Plain, and a former general store and filling station in Canajoharie.
- Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corporation ($300,000 assessment grant): Community-wide grant funds will be used to develop a brownfields site inventory, conduct 14 environmental site assessments, and prepare three reuse plans. Grant funds also will be used to support community outreach activities. The target areas for this grant are the cities of Rome, Utica, and Sherrill. Priority sites include an abandoned three-story housing unit in Utica, downtown Rome’s East Rome and Little Italy neighborhoods along the Erie Canal Corridor, and a former gas station in Sherrill.
- Town of North Hempstead ($800,000 multipurpose grant): Grant funds will be used to conduct 10 environmental site assessments, and clean up as many as six priority sites, including 740 and 746 Prospect Avenue, which comprises undeveloped land and a vacant mixed-use building that is contaminated with heavy metals and petroleum. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities. The target area is the low-income, predominantly minority New Cassel hamlet area.
- City of Troy ($600,000 assessment grant): Community-wide grant funds will be used to prepare a brownfields site inventory, select sites for assessment, and conduct 32 environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to produce 12 reuse plans and conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the South Troy Working Waterfront area. Priority sites include a former industrial and commercial property and the Clemente Latham Concrete site on First Street, and the 13-acre Troy Slag Assembly property formerly used for coal storage. Coalition partners are the Troy Land Development Corporation and Troy Industrial Development Authority.
Ron Peters, President & CEO of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth said: “I would like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency for awarding CRG a Brownfield Assessment Grant. This grant will give us the ability to assess our brownfield sites, bring them to the next level and return them to productive economic development opportunities.”
Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank Project Director John Mazzarella said: "The Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank is thrilled by the award decision, and the EPA Brownfield Grant will have a lasting impact on our projects and the health of the residents in the communities we serve."
“The Town was one of only ten in the country to receive this extremely competitive grant,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “We are grateful to the EPA for awarding us the Brownfields Multi-Purpose grant. The funding will go a long way in helping us continue community outreach and conduct further in-depth environmental studies and assessments that fit the community’s vision for New Cassel. This is an extraordinarily unique opportunity for the people of New Cassel to participate in something special – the continued reimagination of their neighborhood. This grant will greatly assist us in facilitating a community-wide conversation about how best to revitalize New Cassel."
“This brownfields assessment grant will empower us to revitalize communities all across Oneida County,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Mohawk Valley EDGE has worked long and hard to assist our municipalities in redeveloping long-blighted properties, and this funding from the USEPA will provide the spark they so desperately need to ignite the process. We are grateful for the opportunity they have provided to further secure the county’s future.”
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said: “The cleanup and reutilization of brownfield sites along South Troy’s waterfront will support the city’s continued growth, expand the tax base and create opportunities for public access to the Hudson River. With support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Program, we can identify contaminants and plan the remediation necessary to redevelop over 200 acres of vacant riverfront property and extend the city’s Riverwalk south. We applaud the EPA for their work to support future cleanup efforts that will allow our community to return brownfield sites to productive use.”
“This vital funding has the double benefit of eliminating pollution and putting land back into use for economic development in communities across New York,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “I am proud to support this funding from EPA to address brownfields in the Mohawk Valley, Capital District and on Long Island, and I will continue to fight for communities adversely affected by pollution and to preserve New York’s natural resources.”
“For years, the EPA’s Brownfields Program has helped breathe new life into communities across our nation, bolstering local economies, creating new jobs, supporting environmental justice communities and protecting human health,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we deliver the resources needed to help Americans build back better. I thank the EPA for their sound investment revitalizing brownfield sites in our Capital Region. I remain committed to ensuring that our communities receive robust federal support to drive new opportunities for economic development while protecting the health of our environment.”
“EPA's Brownfields investment in the Mohawk Valley, including the Villages of Canajoharie and Fort Plain, will help clean up contamination, create jobs, and help underserved communities,” said Congressman Antonio Delgado. "As we recover from COVID-19 and begin to rebuild, I will keep working to deliver meaningful federal support to our local economies. From our Main Streets to our precious waterways, we must invest in upstate to build back our communities stronger, safer, and healthier.”
“Contaminated land from abandoned industries has historically been a costly public health issue on Long Island,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “I am pleased the federal government is stepping in to clean up areas in Westbury and New Cassel so we can jump start our local economy and prevent further contamination of our drinking water. I will continue fighting in Congress for additional funding to keep our Long Island communities clean and healthy."
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.
Sinceits 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