EPA Selects Seven Projects in Florida to Receive $2.7 Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
The grant awards help underserved communities across the country Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
MIAMI (May 12, 2021) – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of seven projects in Florida for Brownfields grants totaling $2,700,000. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”
“EPA’s Brownfields funding has a proven track record of transforming communities and turning abandoned and contaminated sites into true public assets,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator John Blevins. “Brownfields projects spur economic development and attract jobs, grow innovative and lasting partnerships and can revitalize underserved communities.”
Nationally, EPA selected 151 communities to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities. In the southeast, 37 grants totaling over $14 million will go to organizations or communities across the eight southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The grant recipients in Florida include:
79th Street Corridor Neighborhood Initiative Inc., Miami - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct three Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop three cleanup plans and three reuse plans. The target area is the 79th Street Corridor, which is located a 15-minute drive north from Miami’s downtown and has lost its economic footing and languished in disrepair for many years. Priority sites include a 13.8-acre former private landfill, a 20-acre assemblage of 12 properties used by unregulated industries, and a 4.5-acre assemblage of 8 parcels that include a former gas station and automotive repair shop.
Clearwater - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to prepare a site inventory and conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare four cleanup plans. The target area includes census tracts 259 and 261.01 in downtown Clearwater. Priority sites include a former gas station located at 401 and 415 S. Fort Harrison Avenue and 420 S. Garden Avenue and the former North Ward Elementary School.
East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Kissimmee, Longwood, Eustis, and Apopka -
$600,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct 13 Phase I and nine Phase II environmental site assessments and prepare nine cleanup plans and one reuse plan. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the Florida Orange Blossom Trail, a historic rail/highway corridor that runs from Eustis to Kissimmee while passing through Longwood and Apopka, all of which are coalition partners. Priority sites include the Former Seaboard Air Line Railway in the Station Street Project Area and three razed vacant parcels in Apopka; the Former Florida Waterman Hospital in Eustis; a former dry cleaner site in Kissimmee; and a former auto repair facility in Longwood.
Escambia County - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to create a site inventory and conduct 11 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop four cleanup plans and host two visioning sessions with the community. The target area is the Brownsville Redevelopment District in West Pensacola. Priority sites include a 6.6-acre former landfill and a vacant commercial property with a former gas station and automotive repair facility. Both priority sites are located in a FEMA-designated flood plain.
New Smyrna Beach - $600,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct 32 Phase I and 10 Phase II environmental site assessments and prepare 10 cleanup plans. Grant funds also will be used to prepare reuse plans and conduct community engagement activities. Assessment activities will focus on the Southeast Volusia County Corridor along US Highway 1, which includes New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, and Oak Hill. Priority sites include a vehicle repair and maintenance facility and 70-year-old vacant housing units in New Smyrna Beach; a former honey manufacturing facility and former concrete manufacturing plant in Edgewater; and a vacant former rail-line property in Oak Hill. Coalition partners are the Cities of Edgewater and Oak Hill.
Tampa - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct 10 Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare six cleanup plans and two site-specific reuse plans, and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the West River neighborhood. Priority sites include a former mobile home park and the area’s first public housing development that is undergoing demolition.
Titusville - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop a site inventory list, prepare four cleanup plans, and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the city’s Downtown Core, one of the most distressed areas of the city. Priority sites include a Main Street property with a long history, having been used for office space, warehouse and storage space, vehicle repair, cabinet manufacturing, a tattoo and piercing shop, a roofing company, and an A/C and heating repair shop, as well as an adjacent property used for on-site vehicle repair and underground storage tanks.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants.
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
· To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
· Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
· In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
· Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields