News Releases from Region 04
EPA Awards $300,000 to Atlanta, GA to Assess and Clean Up Contaminated Sites and Promote Economic Redevelopment
Nationally, Economically Disadvantaged Communities Receive $5.35 Million to Redevelop Contaminated Brownfield Sites
ATLANTA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the selection of Atlanta, Georgia to receive a brownfields revolving loan fund grant totaling $300,000. This is in addition to the more than $1.7 million in grant funding for community-wide Brownfields assessment activities and cleanup planning that seven communities in Georgia were selected to receive on May 31, 2017. EPA recognized five of those communities today at a ceremony in downtown Atlanta.
“These supplemental funds help provide communities with resources to help clean up contamination, and turn blighted land into opportunities that can generate jobs and spur economic growth,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Nationally, EPA selected 11 existing Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) recipients to receive a total of approximately $5.35 million in supplemental funding. The additional support will help the entities continue their work cleaning up contaminated brownfield properties.
“The City of Atlanta’s RLF Program is of vital importance to both non-profits and for profits with limited resources for brownfield cleanup, a vital step in the reuse and redevelopment of brownfield properties. A perennial reminder of the importance of the City’s RLF Program is the cleanup and redevelopment of the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta Beltline,” said Georgia Environmental Protection Division Brownfields Coordinator Shannon Ridley. “The supplemental funds awarded to the City will greatly help other eligible entities to cleanup brownfields to make them safe for reuse.”
The Brownfields RLF program supports EPA’s commitment to help environmentally overburdened communities address their local priorities. The supplemental funds announced today will help communities reuse vacant and abandoned properties and turn them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, transportation options, infrastructure and commerce opportunities.
RLF grants are often the last key piece of funding needed to make the cleanup and reuse of a brownfield property happen. They fund loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. These supplemental funds are provided to communities with current RLF grants who have already achieved success in their brownfields work, and keep the momentum going.
The entities selected for additional funding today are:
- Kennebec Valley Council of Governments in Fairfield, ME
- Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission in Saco, ME
- City of Taunton in Taunton, MA
- Camden Redevelopment Agency in Camden, NJ
- City of Atlanta in Atlanta, GA
- Downriver Community Conference in Southgate, MI
- City of Rockford in Rockford, IL
- City of Oklahoma City in Oklahoma City, OK
- Beer Paw Development Corporation in Havre, MT
- Great Falls Development Authority in Great Falls, MT
- County of Humboldt CA in Eureka, CA
Former successful RLF communities have leveraged more than $6.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment investments and completed more than 657 cleanups. For example, RLF funds are being used to turn the Colman Village Site in Rockford, Illinois into a $65 million multi-use complex that will host the Rock Valley Technical Career Education and Training Center, a major hospital clinic, the Illinois Center for Urban Agriculture, and office spaces. It is expected to generate approximately 210 to 305 jobs.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States, and EPA brownfield grants are helping to make a visible difference in communities across the country. As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24.3 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged.
On average, for every one EPA Brownfields dollar provided, $16.11 was leveraged. As for employment, on average, 8.5 jobs were leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
A recent national study has shown that cleaning up brownfields led to residential property value increases of 5 - 15.2% within a 1.24-mile radius of the site. (Haninger et al. 2017). Another study analyzing data near 48 brownfields found that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue is generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is 2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfields.
For a list of FY 2017 applicants selected for RLF Supplemental Funds: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-fy17-rlf-supplemental-funds-award-selections
For more information on EPA’s brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfields
To see project examples and success stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories
Connect with EPA Region 4 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion4
And on Twitter: @EPASoutheast