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BREAKING: EPA to Use Brownfields Reauthorization to Lift American Communities


06.05.19

WASHINGTON, DC – Just one year after Congress passed into law the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee last Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it will use that reauthorization to lift communities across the country.

What is a Brownfield?: Brownfields sites are often abandoned, closed or under-utilized industrial or commercial facilities. Examples of these include abandoned factories, a closed commercial building or warehouse, or a former dry-cleaning establishment or gas station. EPA estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfields across the United States and each of these sites has the potential to encourage economic development in the local community.

EPA said today that 149 communities have been selected to receive 151 grant awards totaling $64,623,553 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs. Click here for the full list of grantees and award amounts.

The bipartisan reauthorization led by the Energy and Commerce Committee under Republican leadership made key improvements to the program, including increasing the limit of individual cleanup grants to $500,000, and giving EPA authority to use Brownfields funding for Multipurpose grants.

“These important changes will help communities address and cleanup more complex brownfield sites,” EPA said in their announcement today.

Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3017):H.R. 3017 reauthorized and made improvements to EPA’s Brownfields Program while encouraging EPA, states, and local governments to work together to redevelop properties, create jobs, and provide for economic development.

The Brownfields Program has a history of success boosting local economies and promoting clean land. The Brownfields Program on average, leverages over $16 in private investment for every federal dollar spent and leverages 8.5 jobs for every $100,000 of brownfields funds expended on assessment and cleanup.

Did You Know?:The City of Houston built Minute Maid Park – home to the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros – on a former brownfield site.

Minute Maid Park Before & After – Photo Credit: City of Houston

Coast to coast, EPA’s Brownfields Program has played an important role in revitalizing local economies across America. That’s why in the last Congress the Energy and Commerce Committee took bipartisan action to strengthen the Brownfields Program so communities could continue to realize their full potential.

Click here to learn more about the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act.

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