The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded 20 communities in 16 states approximately $4 million in Brownfields Area-Wide Planning grants.
The EPA’s AWP program provides funding for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites to revitalize communities and strengthen local economies.
It is modeled after New York State’s Brownfields Opportunity Area Program and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
Several of the communities awarded AWP grants are participating in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. The IMCP communities in the list of EPA grant awardees include Milwaukee and Racine, WI; Portland, ME; Rochester, NY; and Pittsburg, KS.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said in an EPA release that the EDA has a longstanding and productive history of working with the Environmental Protection Agency in assisting communities undergoing economic transformation.
ASC Williams added that EPA’s AWP grants can help identify potential areas for EDA investment, both of which are intended to create conditions for private investment and job creation.
EPA is awarding each recipient up to $200,000 for Brownfields planning activities and reuse. The area-wide planning approach that takes into consideration plans for revitalization of the area surrounding Brownfield sites greatly enhances the chances for successful reuse of the property.
For example, the City of Pittsburg is getting a $196,400 AWP grant to help the City and other stakeholders develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the 350-acre Mid-City Renaissance area that is near the city’s revitalized downtown.
The Brownfield site in question has been used by zinc smelters dating from the late 1800s, plus a clay pipe manufacturing plant and an industrial facility that generated hazardous materials. The site is ideal for a range of urban redevelopment options, including housing and retail space and enhanced transportation choices such as hiking and biking trails.
The City of Dubuque, IA, the other AWP grant recipient in EPA Region 7, is getting $200,000 to assist with the development of an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the 33-acre South Port area along its Mississippi riverfront.
Dubuque’s plan is to convert the former industrial properties of South Port into a new downtown mixed-use neighborhood along the Mississippi in a walkable, transit-oriented environment.
Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, said in the release that the selected grantees have demonstrated a strong vision and partnership to catalyze brownfield redevelopment as a pathway to transform their communities into vibrant destinations for housing, manufacturing, and transit-oriented development.
The full list of the latest AWP funding recipients and detailed information about each project is available here.
This is the third round of grants awarded by the EPA under the Brownfields AWP program. The 2010 pilot, under which $4 million was awarded to 23 communities, has leveraged approximately $418 million in infrastructure and project development investments.