EPA Announces New Grants To Cleanup Brownfields

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Monday that it has awarded nearly $80 million in grant funding to assess, cleanup and redevelop brownfield properties in 40 states, four tribal lands and one U.S. Territory. The funding will be used to clean up abandoned gas stations, old textile mills and smelters, and other abandoned commercial and industrial properties.

Since 1995, EPA’s brownfields program has provided direct funding to support communities to prevent, assess, clean up and sustainably reuse the estimated 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. As of March 2010, EPA’s program has leveraged more than $14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding, and 61,277 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.

Brownfield cleanup has become one of the agency’s top priorities. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson stated: “To strengthen our economy, we must first strengthen our communities.” “Cleaning up and revitalizing these contaminated sites opens doors to new businesses, new homes and new jobs for American workers while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier. This shows that what is right for the environment is right for the economy,” Jackson said.