On September 26, 2023, just days before a bipartisan committee in the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to approve renewal of the federal brownfields program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $235 million in new brownfields grants.
The funding to assess and clean up polluted brownfield sites across the country comes from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
The new grants through EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) program will advance environmental justice and help transform what were once polluted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community assets while spurring economic revitalization in underserved communities.
Thanks to the historic boost from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA anticipates awarding approximately 200 grants nationwide this cycle at amounts ranging from $500,000 to $5 million per award.
This is the third wave of funding supported by this law, which provides $1.5 billion to EPA’s Brownfields Program and is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by the legacy pollution at brownfield sites.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is continuing to supercharge EPA’s efforts to clean up legacy brownfield pollution in communities all across the country,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
“Today we’re building on this work with the latest multi-million dollar investment in removing longstanding barriers to brownfields redevelopment, all while spurring economic growth in underserved communities,” he added.
EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.
The Brownfields Program will strive to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations in all aspects of its work.
EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse.
Prior to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program made approximately $60 million available each year. Thanks to the President’s historic investments in America through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA has now increased that yearly investment four times over.
Applications for the Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) grants are due by November 13, 2023.
Photo of Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington (a successful brownfields remediation project) courtesy of the City of Spokane.