News Releases from Region 04
Two Communities in Alabama Receive $600,000 in Brownfield Grants to Return Blighted Properties to Productive Reuse and Promote Economic Redevelopment
ATLANTA – Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected 144 communities, including two in Alabama, for Brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. In total, 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment. Of this total, approximately $8.9 million went to 36 communities in the southeast.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure" said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
“Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and provide assistance where environmental cleanup and new job opportunities are needed,” said Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn. “These funds mean a great deal to these communities.”
“Brownfield redevelopment benefits both the environment and the economy,” said Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s Director, Lance LeFleur. “We are thankful for EPA’s commitment to this important work and congratulate the cities of Greenville and Sheffield, Alabama for the excellent proposals they submitted which resulted in these impressive awards.”
The following communities in Alabama will receive funding for community-wide Brownfields assessment activities and cleanup planning:
- Greenville - $300,000 ($150,000 for hazardous substances and $150,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, develop cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.
- Sheffield Redevelopment Authority - $300,000 ($150,000 for hazardous substances and $150,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments (Assessment activities will focus on Census Tract 203) and develop cleanup plans. Grant funds will also be used to update the city’s brownfields inventory, prioritize sites, and conduct community outreach activities.
The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform blighted 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. Furthermore, another study found that property values of homes located near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent after cleanup.
In addition, communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage water infrastructure loans and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used, under certain conditions, 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 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:
For more information on the ARC 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