US communities get ‘brownfields’ grants

New grants, totalling over $4 million, are to be awarded to 23 US communities to help them clean up and redevelop brownfield properties. These new brownfields grants total about $200,000 for each community.

The grants build on the US Government’s efforts to re-stimulate the US’s central cities and isolated rural areas. The brownfields redevelopment efforts are an important part of the Clinton Administration’s overall community empowerment agenda.

To date, the US government has awarded 227 brownfields grants, for over $42 million, to states, cities, towns, counties, and tribes. These grants have raised over $1 billion for redevelopment and created over 2,500 jobs.

Since 1993, the US Government has taken steps to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites such as removing legal barriers to redevelopment; creating a national model to determine the best way to revitalise communities; providing a targeted tax incentive to businesses that purchase and cleanup these sites; and providing a total of over $46 million in seed money for 250 brownfield grants.

Last January, the Government launched its Livability Agenda, designed to generate $700 million per year to help US communities ensure a high quality of life and sustainable economic growth. As part of this effort, the Better America Bonds initiative will provide $9.5 billion in bonding authority over five years to help communities preserve and enhance green spaces, protect water quality, and clean up brownfield sites.

In addition to brownfields grants, the EPA Brownfields Action Agenda, which includes showcase communities, revolving loan fund pilots and job training grants, the US Government has provided $22

million to address brownfields issues and is expected to raise $7 billion in private investments for redevelopment of brownfields.

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