EPA Selects Three Projects in Alabama to Receive $1.5 Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
The grant awards help underserved communities across the country Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
ATLANTA (May 12, 2021) – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of three projects in Alabama for Brownfields grants totaling $1,500,000. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities 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 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 Alabama include:
Tuskegee, AL - $300,000 Assessment Grant funds will be used to develop seven Phase I and seven Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop seven cleanup plans and conduct community engagement activities. The target area is the entire City of Tuskegee. Priority sites include a former oil distribution center, former hotel, and former gas station, all located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone.
East Alabama Regional and Development Commission, Anniston and Sylacauga, AL - $600,000 Assessment Grant funds will be used to inventory, select, and prioritize sites and conduct 26 Phase I and 16 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop five cleanup plans and two reuse plans, and conduct community engagement activities. Assessment activities will focus on the West Anniston community in the City of Anniston and Avondale Mills Village in the City of Sylacauga. Priority sites include an 11.7-acre former manufacturing site, a 19.2-acre former textile mill, a 22-acre former foundry, and a 228-acre former dairy and egg production plan. Coalition partners are the City of Anniston and the City of Sylacauga.
Top of Alabama Council of Governments, Scottsboro, AL -$600,000 Assessment Grant funds will be used to develop an inventory of brownfield sites and conduct three Phase I and three Phase II environmental site assessments at priority sites and 16 Phase I and 11 Phase II environmental site assessments at secondary sites. Grant funds also will be used to prepare six cleanup plans and one site reuse plan. Assessment activities will focus on the Willow Street Corridor, which is located north of Scottboro’s downtown and within the city’s Qualified Opportunity Zone. Priority sites include Proctor Warehouse, the Word Lumber Company, and a one-acre parcel that was once part of a large farming operation. Coalition partners are the City of Scottsboro and the Jackson County Economic Development Authority.
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-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields