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9 communities in Florida received more than $3.9 million

what-are-brownfields

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the selection of nine communities in Florida to receive more than $3.9 million in grant investments. This investment will provide communities with funding necessary to assess, clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

EPA’s Brownfields grants provide resources early which is critical for the success of communities’ ability to leverage additional partnerships and resources. The community leaders – represented by local governments, states, tribes, quasi-governmental organizations, and non-profit entities have demonstrated strong partnerships and plan to leverage the EPA grants with other public-private investments. They use an inclusive process to help spur the redevelopment of vacant, former manufacturing and commercial sites for broader revitalization in their downtowns. This results in a transformed economy and environment while addressing poverty and economic distress.

“Brownfield sites – because of their locations and associated infrastructure advantages – are community assets and a key component of the Obama Administration’s efforts to provide tools to sustainably revitalize communities and foster economic development,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “These communities have demonstrated a plan to leverage their grants and partnerships to achieve economic and environmental revitalization to meet their needs for jobs. These critical EPA resources are going into communities with populations ranging from 89 to 1.4 million, and more than half under 100,000. The grants will help transform brownfield sites, such as former manufacturing and mill sites, into productive end uses which directly benefit community residents and create opportunities including increased housing options, recreational spaces, and jobs.”

The Florida Brownfield recipients are:

  •  City of Cocoa, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 for assessment grant petroleum)
  • City of Jacksonville, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)
  • City of Live Oak, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)
  • Manatee County, Fla. ($300,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)
  • City of Opa-locka, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)
  • City of Palatka, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)
  • City of Pasco, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances, $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum and $195,000 cleanup grant for hazardous substances)
  • City of Sanford, Fla. ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)
  • Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, Fla. ($300,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum)


Among the communities selected for funding, more than thirty percent have been affected by plant closures, forty percent by significant economic disruptions, and forty-two percent by adverse natural disasters. The small City of Palatka, Florida for example, was declared an emergency area following the devastation of two tropical storms, and has also suffered economically from the closing of Georgia-Pacific paper towel manufacturing line and the lay-off of 130 employees from the regional water management company. Being selected for a $400,000 assessment grant will allow this town of just over 10,000 residents to support their downtown and riverfront redevelopment plans and help restore the local economy.

This latest funding advances EPA’s broader commitment to making a visible difference in communities that focuses on better coordinating federal investments to help environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities address local priorities. Communities selected this year demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake specific projects as they have firm commitments of leveraged funds to move projects forward. An impressive forty-five percent of the recipients have secured public and private resources which directly align and further the efforts of proposed projects.

Nationally, 147 communities across the U.S were selected to receive 243 new grant investments totaling $54.3 million. Recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 – $600,000 in funding toward EPA cooperative agreements. EPA’s grant awards support both urban and rural communities in their efforts to address their brownfields concerns. More than fifty-five percent of the communities selected are cities and towns with populations of 100,000 or less, of which forty-four percent are very small rural communities with populations of 10,000 or less.

Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 105,942 jobs nationwide. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

EPA'S BROWNFIELDS
EPA’S BROWNFIELDS


 


 

Posted on: September 18, 2015, by : FAS SWFL