US cash boost to clean-up contaminated sites

Over $2 million has been awarded to nine regions across the United States for the regeneration of brownfield land in need of remediation.

The funding has been granted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help return problem properties to productive use.

Regions include Oakland in California, Bridgeport in Connecticut, and Rockford in Illinois.

The EPA's view of brownfields differs from the broader UK definition which would consider any previously-developped land as brownfield.

According the the agency a brownfield site is one where: "expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant."

To date, the EPA has granted an estimated $70.7 million in grants to Communities in 38 states, 5 Tribal Nations and 2 territories. The funding is used to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

"Through our brownfields program, EPA continues to sow the seeds of environmental and economic success," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes annual funding for brownfields grants, says the EPA.

Since 1997, grant recipients have completed an estimated cleanup totaling more than $53 million. The EPA also says that loan funds have leveraged more than $780 million in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment.

"[The] grants reflect...ongoing commitment of transforming blighted areas into sources of community rebirth," said Johnson.

Dana Gornitzki



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