Millions to transform US brownfields

Large areas of derelict land across the US are to be put back into use thanks to $70.7 million in government grants made available for brownfield restoration.

The funding will go to cleaning up contaminated land across 38 states, including land occupied by five tribal nations, and restoring it to use.

“By transforming thousands of blighted sites into engines of economic rebirth, EPA’s Brownfields program is proving to be one of the greatest environmental success stories of the past decade,” said US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

“These grants build on the Bush Administration’s commitment of handing down a healthier, more prosperous future to the next generation of Americans.”

The US government made annual funding for the decontamination and reuse of land once occupied by factories or commercial buildings through the 2002 Brownfield Revitalisation Act. The same act also widened the definition of “brownfield” to encompass all areas where hazardous substances or pollutants make putting the land back into use difficult.

The new definition includes former mines, sites contaminated by petroleum or drugs. An estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites remain across the US.

Since the beginning of the brownfield program EPA awarded 1,067 assessment grants totalling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totalling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totalling $61.3 million.

Goska Romanowicz

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