EPA to work with communities on brownfield developments

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $4million in grants will be awarded to communities across the country to help develop plans for the reuse of brownfield sites.

EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Mathy Stanislaus, announced the grants in Cleveland last week, saying he hoped the funding would lead to a more ‘coordinated’ approach to the clean-up and reuse of brownfield sites.

The grants, of up to $175,000 each, will be made to 23 community projects across 18 states and one territory, many of which are in significantly disadvantaged areas. The money will be used to finance working partnerships between the communities themselves and the government agencies, including the EPA, who is responsible for regeneration programmes.

That, Mr Stanislaus said, would help ensure the needs of the local community, such as economic development, job creation, housing, education and health facilities, were placed at the fore of any redevelopment plans.

“This area-wide approach recognizes that revitalisation of the communities impacted by multiple brownfield sites or a large individual site – particularly in distressed communities – requires a strategy for area-wide improvement to attract investment to redevelop brownfields properties,” said Mr Stanislaus.

“The approach also recognises the importance of identifying and leveraging additional local, state, and federal investment to implement the plans.”

The EPA will now work with each selected recipient to help facilitate community involvement in developing their brownfield-affected area.

Sam Plester

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