News Releases from Region 06
EPA Awards Regional Planning Commission of New Orleans $600,000 for Brownfields Assessments
DALLAS – (April 25, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $600,000 in Brownfields assessment coalition grants to the Regional Planning Commission of New Orleans. 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.”
“New Orleans’ Regional Planning Commission and its partners have a strong vision for the future of the Inner Harbor area,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “EPA is proud to help facilitate that vision with brownfields funding.”
“The Regional Planning Commission is excited to continue our partnership with EPA to redevelop Brownfields sites in the New Orleans area. Along with our partners, the Port of New Orleans and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, we look forward to focusing our efforts along the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal,” said Executive Director Jeff Roesel. “This funding will enable us to work on key sites identified by the community through the Port’s EPA-funded Brownfields Area-Wide Planning initiative, to help convert abandoned and dilapidated properties into community assets and spur further redevelopment in communities where it is greatly needed.”
The commission will receive two assessment coalition grants. A community-wide hazardous substances grant of $360,000 will be used to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments and prepare cleanup plans. A $240,000 grant for petroleum will also be used for similar site assessments and cleanup plans. Both grants will also be used to support community outreach activities.
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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