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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Will Help Randolph, Neb., Meet Environmental Goals, Foster Development

12/15/2016
Contact Information: 
Robert Daguillard (daguillard.robert@epa.gov)
202-564-6618, 202-564-4355

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 15, 2016) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Randolph, Neb., is one of 25 communities that will receive technical assistance to pursue development strategies that advance clean air, clean water, economic development and other local goals.

EPA selected the communities from among 76 applicants to the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. In 2017, EPA staff and national experts will conduct one- to two-day workshops to help the community address development-oriented issues.

“Through our Building Blocks program, local leaders can guide their communities toward a healthier, more vibrant future,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Communities shouldn’t have to choose between protecting the environment and creating economic opportunity.”

In applying for the program, the city of Randolph’s application for the Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas cited that Building Blocks would work well with the FEMA-enforced floodplain program already underway in the community. The city has also hired a community development professional to help build a 21st century sustainable community strategy.

EPA also selected the following communities, located in 19 states: Skykomish, Wash.; Willamina, Ore.; Bishop, Calif.; Apache Junction, Ariz.; Questa, N.M.; Raton, N.M.; Pueblo, Colo.; Pine Ridge, S.D.; Brownsville, Texas; Logansport, La.; Acadia Parish, La.; Winona, Minn.; Detroit, Mich.; Fairview Park, Ohio; Manatee County, Fla.; Miami, Fla.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Pocomoke City, Md.; Baltimore, Md.; Kingston, N.Y.; Central Falls, R.I.; Wareham, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; and Lenox, Mass.

The agency is offering five assistance tools this year: Green and Complete Streets, Equitable Development, Planning for Infill Development, Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas, and Flood Resilience for Riverine and Coastal Communities. Using the Green and Complete Streets tool, for example, EPA will assist Manatee County, Fla., by exploring how the county could develop long-term stormwater plans for the 15th Street corridor. These plans would create green space, encourage redevelopment, and reduce flooding while cleaning runoff before it pollutes Sarasota Bay. EPA will also work with Winona, Minn., to create a plan that will help the community develop within constrained geographical boundaries that include the Mississippi River on one side and bluffs on the other.

Since 2011, the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program has provided assistance to 130 communities in 41 states. As a result of this assistance, community groups, local governments, and tribal governments across the nation have increased their capacity to grow and develop in ways that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs and economic opportunity, build climate resiliency, and improve overall quality of life.

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