Vice President Gore Announces Over $30 Million to Help Communities Clean Up and Redevelop Brownfields

[White House press release - May 25, 1999]

Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Edinburgh, TX--Today, at the White House Community Empowerment Conference in Edinburgh, Texas, the Vice President announced over $32 million in grants to help more than 70 communities across the nation clean up and redevelop Brownfields--abandoned, contaminated properties, often found in distressed areas--and return them to thriving centers of prosperity.

This announcement furthers the Administration's efforts to breathe new life, new opportunity and new hope into the nation's central cities and isolated rural areas. The Brownfields redevelopment efforts are an important part of the Administration's overall community empowerment agenda as well.

"There is no greater example of the environment and the economy working hand in hand to benefit the American people than the Administration's efforts to clean up and revitalize Brownfields," said Vice President Gore. "These grants I am announcing today will help bring to these communities new jobs and new opportunities."

The Vice President today awarded 45 Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund grants totaling $30.6 million to help 65 communities across the nation leverage funding to cleanup and redevelop abandoned industrial properties. With these grants, communities can set up "revolving loan funds," providing low-interest loans to businesses and others so that they can turn brownfields back to productive use.

The Vice President also awarded $1.9 million in Job Training Grants to 10 communities to train nearly 600 residents in environmental cleanup techniques, allowing them to find well-paying jobs and furthering the cleanup of brownfields across the nation.

Since 1993, the Administration has taken significant steps to clean up and redevelop Brownfields and return them to productive use, such as removing legal barriers to redevelopment; creating a national model to determine the best way to revitalize communities; providing a targeted $1.5 billion tax incentive to businesses that purchase and cleanup these sites; and providing a total of over $46 million in seed money for 250 Brownfield grants.

Today's announcement also builds on the Administration's record of ensuring a clean, safe environment and a strong economy. Through the Administration's efforts to clean up brownfields, over 2,000 jobs have been created, and more than $1 billion has been leveraged from the private sector and other sources to redevelop the abandoned industrial sites.

These grants also advance the Administration's new Livability Agenda to help communities across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. Last January, Vice President Gore announced that the Livability Agenda will generate $700 million per year to provide new tools and resources for state and local governments to help communities across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. As part of this effort, the new Better America Bonds initiative will provide $9.5 billion in bonding authority over five years to help communities preserve and enhance green spaces, protect water quality, and clean up Brownfields.

As chair of the President's Community Empowerment Board, the Vice President oversees the Administration's Community Empowerment Agenda, which includes a series of initiatives to provide greater opportunity in, and expand the competitiveness of, our distressed urban and rural areas.

The communities selected to receive today's Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund grants include:

State of Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (Coalition with Phoenix and Tucson)
Austin, Texas
Battle Creek, Michigan
Brockton, Massachusetts
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Central Massachusetts Economic Development Authority, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois
Clearwater, Florida
State of Colorado Department of Health & Environment (Coalition with the Cities of Englewood, Lakewood, Loveland, and Denver)
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Cowpens, South Carolina
Des Moines, Iowa
East Palo Alto, California
Emeryville, California
Escambia County, Florida
Evanston, Wyoming
Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Massachusetts (Coalition with Towns of Colrain and Greenfield)
Hagerstown, Maryland
Hartford, Connecticut
Hennepin County, Minnesota
Hudson County, New Jersey
State of Illinois (Coalition with 6 cities)
Jacksonville, Florida
Kemmerer, Wyoming
Las Vegas, Nevada
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Long Beach, California
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lynn, Massachusetts
Mystic Valley Development Commission, Massachusetts (Cities of Malden, Everett, and Medford, Massachusetts)
State of New Hampshire (Coalition with the State Department of Environmental Services, Office of State Planning Coastal Watershed, City of Concord, and the Towns of Durham and Londonderry)
Niagara County, New York (Coalition with the City of Niagara Falls, NY)
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Massachusetts (Coalition with the Cities of Springfield, Chicopee, and Westfield)
Portland, Maine
Portland, Oregon
St. Louis County, Missouri
Shreveport, Louisiana
Somerville, Massachusetts
Stamford, Connecticut
Washington, District of Columbia
Wayne County, Michigan
Wheeling, West Virginia
Yonkers, New York

The entities selected to receive the Brownfields Job Training and Development grants today include:

Bernalillo County, New Mexico
Bucks County Community College, Pennsylvania
Hennepin County, Minnesota
Houston Community College, Texas
King County-City of Seattle, Washington
Mineral Area College, Missouri
Stamford, Connecticut
STRIVE-Boston Employment Service, Inc., Massachusetts
Universidad Metropolitana, Puerto Rico
Young Community Developers, Inc., San Francisco, California