News Releases from Region 06
EPA Awards City of Port Arthur, TX, $300,000 for Brownfields Assessments
DALLAS – (April 25, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $300,000 in Brownfields assessment grants to the city of Port Arthur, 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.”
“Brownfields grants help communities like Port Arthur leverage funds for redevelopment and revitalization,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “The downtown area is ready to start bringing abandoned or blighted properties back into economic use to benefit the entire community.”
“As the mayor of the city of Port Arthur, Texas, I am extremely excited to announce the city is the recipient of the 2018 Brownfields community-wide grant, funded by the U.S. EPA,” said Mayor Derrick Freeman. “The grant allocation will be used to assess blighted commercial and industrial properties and implement a redevelopment plan for these sites in the downtown target area. We anticipate that this program will lead to business opportunities, job growth and sustainability.”
The city will receive two assessment grants for activities focused on downtown Port Arthur. 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 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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Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.htm
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