On January 5. 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 19 communities for approximately $3.8 million in funding to assist with planning for cleanup and reuse of Brownfield sites as part of the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) program. Each recipient will receive up to $200,000 to engage their community and conduct planning activities for brownfield site reuse.
The grants will help communities plan improvements such as housing, transportation options, recreation and open space, education and health facilities, social services, renewed infrastructure, increased commerce and employment opportunities.
“The Area-Wide Planning grant program is an innovation initiated by the Obama Administration to empower communities to transform economically and environmentally distressed areas, including communities impacted by manufacturing plant closures, into vibrant future destinations for business, jobs, housing and recreation,” said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “These grants provide the opportunity for communities to determine for themselves revitalization plans that best meet their vision and needs based on a rigorous analysis of market and infrastructure in a manner that benefits and does not displace long-term residents.”
Assistant Administrator Stanislaus announced the new AWP recipients for funding at a community event in Norfolk, Va.
EPA’S AWP program was modeled after New York State’s Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) Program, which was developed by communities – particularly lower income communities – to enable them to drive development that meets their needs without displacing them. Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent.
Data also shows that brownfields clean ups can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius. Preliminary analysis involving 48 brownfields sites shows that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup.
This year’s selected recipients for funding are:
- Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Bucksport, Maine
- City of Providence, R.I.
- Isles, Inc., East Trenton, N.J.
- City of Wilmington, Del.
- Redevelopment Authority of the City of Harrisburg, Pa.
- City of Norfolk, Va.
- University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.
- City of Middlesborough, Ky.
- Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, Charleston & North Charleston, SC
- Near East Area Renewal, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, River Rouge, Mich.
- Lorain County, Lorain, Ohio
- Port of New Orleans, New Orleans, La.
- City of Burlington, Iowa
- Resource Conservation and Development for Northeast Iowa, Inc., Postville, Iowa
- City of Glenwood Springs, Colo.
- City of Orem, Utah
- Trust for Public Land, Los Angeles, Calif.
- City of Grants Pass, Ore.