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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Brownfields Funding Announced for Gloversville, New York

06/05/2019
Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)
212-637-3664

GLOVERSVILLE, NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected 149 communities across the country including Gloversville, New York to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies. EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez announced the Gloversville grant at the City of Gloversville City Hall alongside Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis, Fulton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Wilson and other dignitaries. EPA and Gloversville officials toured an abandoned tannery, for which some of the EPA Brownfield funding is slated.


“These grants fulfill several of President Trump’s top priorities simultaneously: helping communities in need transform contaminated sites into community assets that not only create jobs and jumpstart economic development but also improve public health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We are targeting these funds to areas that need them the most. Approximately 40 percent of the selected recipients are receiving Brownfields grants for the first time, which means we are reaching areas that may previously been neglected, and 108 of the selected communities have identified sites or targeted areas for redevelopment that fall within Opportunity Zones.”

“With EPA’s Brownfields grants, communities can take contaminated, blighted properties and turn them into usable, environmentally and economically profitable land,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “We are thrilled to work with our state and local partners to fund under-served and disadvantaged communities cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.”

“I am extremely grateful to EPA for this award. For several decades, these environmentally compromised sites have been a major impediment to the city’s redevelopment. Thanks to this grant, we are now in a position to finally begin the process of systematically converting these properties to productive community use,” said Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis.

“I am pleased to see the city of Gloversville receive a federal Brownfields Assessment Grant to help clean up and redevelop the old tannery sites in the city. By investing in this riverfront land and preparing it for redevelopment, we can continue to grow our community and attract new businesses and families. Regional Administrator Lopez and all those involved made the right choice, and I look forward to working with them on this important project,” said New York State Assemblyman Robert Smullen.

EPA has selected the City of Gloversville for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant targeting abandoned tannery sites on the banks of the Cayadutta Creek and Gloversville’s Southern Gateway. Grant funds will be used to inventory and identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to conduct community outreach activities.

Of the 149 communities selected nationwide, 108 have identified sites or targeted areas in census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. The grant to the City of Gloversville will address Opportunity Zones in targeted areas.

Overview of the Funds Being Announced Today

The communities selected for brownfields funding this year include:

  • Geographically diverse set of communities:
    • 149 communities across the country in all 10 EPA regions.
  • Diverse types of communities:
    • 19% of selected proposals are in urban areas,
    • 81% of selected proposals are in non-urban areas (population of 100,000 or less),
    • 40% of the grants will go to the smallest of communities with populations of 10,000 or less.
  • And, new communities that have never received brownfields funding before:
    • 40% of selected communities are receiving brownfields funding for the first time.

Brownfields grants have been shown to increase local tax revenue and residential property values. A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated 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 sites.  Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5 and 15% following cleanup.

As of May 2019, under the EPA Brownfields Program 30,153 properties have been assessed, and 86,131 acres of idle land have been made ready for productive use. In addition, communities have been able to use Brownfields grants to leverage 150,120 jobs and more than $28 billion of public and private funding.

For a list of EPA’s brownfields program applicants selected for funding:

https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy19-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants

For Brownfields success stories, please see “Brownfields: Properties with New Purpose, Improving Local Economies in Communities with Brownfield Sites”

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-06/documents/bf_booklet.pdf

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page,

http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

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