News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA Announces $300,000 in Brownfields Grants to Promote Economic Redevelopment in Bakersfield
More than $5.1 million to be awarded statewide
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the City of Bakersfield will receive $300,000 in federal grant funds for brownfield site revitalization efforts. This grant is part of the $56.8 million awarded nationally to 172 recipients to assess and clean up historically contaminated properties, also known as brownfields, to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.
“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”
The City of Bakersfield Community Development Department will use EPA grant funds to assess contaminated properties for cleanup and redevelopment in the city's Economic Opportunity Areas. The project will focus on downtown Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Airport, Highway 58/Mount Vernon, 34th Street Corridor, East Hill, Baker Street Corridor and Southeast Bakersfield. This grant-funded effort aligns with several ongoing revitalization efforts, including the planned California High Speed Rail station in downtown Bakersfield and transit-oriented redevelopment. This approach will provide the community with transportation options, make key business areas more accessible to residents and reduce traffic congestion. Grant funds will support community outreach and the development of a brownfields inventory to prioritize property assessments and redevelopment potential.
Overview of the funds being announced today:
- $25 million to communities who are receiving assessment and cleanup funding for the first time
- $17.5 million of the assessment and cleanup funding will benefit small and rural communities with populations less than 10,000
- Recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 - $600,000 in funding to work on individual sites or several sites within their community
- These funds will provide communities with resources necessary to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed.
Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2% within a 1.24-mile radius of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 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 those brownfields.
As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
View the list of the FY 2017 applicants selected for funding here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding
More on EPA’s Brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfields
More on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories
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