EPA Spends Some Green on Brownfields

EPA announces $21.5 million in Brownfields grants to clean up and revitalize areas in 17 states.

Communities with blighted areas got a boost from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will issue $21.5 million in Brownfields grants to clean up and revitalize areas in 17 states. The money will be used to help communities turn neighborhood eyesores into community assets.

"Brownfields restoration is a win-win for everyone, from the children who have new places to play when a Brownfield is turned into a ballfield, to the parents who have new jobs when a Brownfield becomes the site of a new office building or a retail store," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman.

The grants are awarded under EPA''s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund program to capitalize state and local programs that in turn provide no- interest or low-interest loans to businesses to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfields properties. Federal capitalization of these loan programs provides necessary resources that enable state and local governments to produce or leverage billions of dollars in other public and private sector funding to revitalize economically depressed communities.

The state governments awarded grants today include Alabama ($1 million), Arkansas ($1 million), Colorado ($800,000), Hawaii ($2 million), Kansas($1 million), New Mexico ($1 million), South Carolina ($900,000) and Washington state ($800,000). Local governments awarded grants, in addition to Oakland County, Mich. ($1 million), include: Coralville, Iowa ($1 million); El Paso, Tex. ($1 million); Kenosha, Wis. ($1 million); Milwaukee, Wis. ($1 million); Madera County, Calif. ($1 million); Santa Rosa, Calif. ($1 million); Monroe, Mich. ($1 million); Taylor, Mich. ($1 million); Montgomery County, Pa. ($1 million); Southern Windsor Regional Planning Commission, Vt. ($1 million); Springfield, Ohio ($1 million); and Worcester, Mass. ($1 million). To date, EPA has awarded 143 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grants totaling nearly $91 million to 39 states and the District of Columbia.

For further information about EPA''s Brownfields program, go to www.epa.gov/brownfields.

by Sandy Smith (ssmith@penton.com)

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