Environmental Protection

Apply Now for EPA Brownfields Money

The period to apply for brownfields grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is open until Oct. 12, 2007. The money can be used for contaminated sites, including those contaminated by hazardous substances, petroleum or both. Available grants include:

Assessment grants Up to $200,000 each over three years Cleanup grants Up to $200,000 each over three years Revolving loan fund Up to $1 million each over five years

WHO SHOULD APPLY
Individuals from local, state, and tribal governments; nonprofits; coalitions; land clearance authorities; and quasi-governmental entities interested in a brownfields assessment, cleanup or a revolving loan fund grant. For more information on the EPA brownfields grant application guidelines, go to www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicat.htm#fy08.

WHY APPLY?
The Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. EPA has awarded 1,067 assessment grants totaling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totaling $61.3 million since the beginning of the program. In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields redevelopments have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to riverfront parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas stations to housing. EPA's brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 43,029 jobs, and resulted in the assessment of more than 10,504 properties and the cleanup of 180 properties.

Nationwide, 202 applicants were selected this year to receive 294 assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants. The $70.7 million total will provide:

• 189 assessment grants totaling $36.8 million to be used to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfield sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
• 93 cleanup grants totaling $17.9 million to provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites they own.
• 13 revolving loan fund grants totaling $16 million to provide funding for communities to capitalize on a revolving loan fund, and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low interest loans for brownfield cleanups.

Nine communities and one state were selected in Region 7 this year to receive more than $4 million in brownfields grant money to clean up and assess properties. Springfield, Mo., was also selected to receive a revolving loan fund grant to support eligible organizations for brownfields cleanup.

Registration is open for a one-day workshop to improve brownfields grant proposals and for a teleconference to answer questions. The dates are:

• Sept. 12 - Salina, Kan.
•Oct. 2 - Teleconference

Register at this Web site.

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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