EPA''s Brownfields Program was honored with Vice President Gore''s National Partnership for Reinventing Government Hammer Award for innovations in government.
The Brownfields Program has revolutionized the way the federal government manages the process of prevention, assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated property.
"The Brownfields Program is a national model for restoring and revitalizing blighted industrial and commercial properties. The driving force behind creating a successful program like this is largely due to the diligent efforts of the dedicated EPA employees recognized," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner.
Due to the cooperative efforts of EPA, in conjunction with the states and local governments, many of these formerly blighted properties provide new jobs, healthier neighborhoods, and safer streets.
The Brownfields Program has provided more than 500 pilot grants to communities totaling over $156 million.
The program uses small amounts of seed money to spur communities to help themselves. Funds are used to remove environmental uncertainties and galvanize existing local creativity, capitalism and free enterprise to leverage cleanup and redevelopment funding.
The program''s $200,000 site assessment grants have already leveraged more than $2 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding and returned hundreds of properties to productive reuse and created more than 6,000 jobs.
The Hammer Award is presented to teams of federal employees who have made significant contributions in support of reinventing government principles.
by Virginia Sutcliffe