ATLANTA (May 28, 2014) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to award two communities in Kentucky with brownfields grants for new investments to provide communities with funding necessary to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting human health.
“Not only are these funds protecting the environment and public health by helping communities clean up blighted toxic waste sites, there are new job growth opportunities for local economies to leverage through these investments,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator. “With cities looking at how to combat the impacts of climate change, it’s more important than ever for communities to innovate new ways to retrofit formerly polluted, unused sites for renewable energy use.”
The Kentucky brownfield grant recipients are:
• City of Frankfort: ($200,000 assessment grant for petroleum and 200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances)
• Northern Kentucky Area Development District ($600,00 assessment grant for hazardous substances)
EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.
A total of approximately $23.5 million is going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 44 states across the country; and at least 50 of the grants are going to HUD-DOT-EPA grant recipient communities.
Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.
More information on brownfields grants by state: cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/.