Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska Towns Assess Brownfields with Stimulus Funds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has distributed more than $730,000 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to assess brownfields' properties in five communities in Region 7.

These funds provided contractor support in five communities to address community blight and contamination under the Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program (TBA).

Communities targeted for these funds are Grundy Center, Ottumwa and Waverly, Iowa; Kansas City, Mo.; and Lincoln, Neb.

The program is voluntary and free. It is designed to help public entities and tribes minimize the uncertainties of contamination often associated with brownfields. TBA funds can only be used on brownfields properties where a strong redevelopment plan exists, especially those developed with grassroots support.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Brownfields Law) was passed. The Brownfields Law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. EPA’s Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

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