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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Awards City of Houston, TX, $300,000 for Brownfields Assessments

04/25/2018
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214-665-2200

DALLAS – (April 25, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $300,000 in Brownfields assessment grants to the city of Houston, Texas. The award is part of $54.5 million EPA is distributing to 145 communities nationwide to assess and clean up underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.


“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to clean up and recycle blighted properties for productive reuses that will utilize existing infrastructure and generate economic growth," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Brownfield grants leverage other public and private investments and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

“As Houston continues to grow, so will the need for community redevelopment and revitalization,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “EPA’s Brownfields funding will help the Fifth Ward leverage this investment and bring abandoned properties back into economic use to benefit the entire community.”

"Houston Public Works is proud to accept this grant from the EPA and will continue to work to transform our community through our Brownfields Redevelopment Program," said Carol Ellinger Haddock, PE, Director of Houston Public Works. "These grant dollars will go directly to redevelopment and revitalization efforts in the City of Houston, including our Complete Communities initiative and urban smart growth, as well as the ongoing Harvey recovery efforts and other resiliency projects." 

Houston will receive two assessment grants for activities focused on the city’s Fifth Ward. A community-wide hazardous substances grant of $200,000 will be used to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments and prepare cleanup plans. A $100,000 grant for petroleum will also be used for similar site assessments and cleanup plans. Both grants will also be used to inventory brownfields sites, conduct area-wide planning, and support community outreach.

The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and 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

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