News Releases from Region 08
EPA provides $300K to advance redevelopment projects in Missoula, Montana
Brownfields grant to advance environmental assessment and redevelopment in Downtown Riverfront and along Bitterroot Branch rail line
DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the City of Missoula a $300,000 Brownfields grant to further efforts to revitalize properties in the city’s Downtown Riverfront and along the Bitterroot Branch.
The City of Missoula is among 144 grant recipients across the nation receiving EPA Brownfields Environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.
Missoula has successfully used several EPA Brownfields grants over the past decade to revitalize properties throughout the community. The City will use the $300K in EPA Brownfields funds to build upon past efforts and focus on sites in the Downtown Riverfront area and southward along the Bitterroot Branch rail line, parts of the city with the highest concentrations of poverty and public health concerns. Assessment and cleanup activity will focus on automotive facilities, storage tank sites, wood products sites, meth labs, and historic structures that offer potential for redevelopment and the extension of recreational trails. Contaminants of concern include petroleum compounds, metals, resins, asbestos, and other hazardous substances.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
“EPA continues to support the City of Missoula as it works to bring properties back into productive reuse,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “The current effort to focus on properties in the Downtown Riverfront and along the Bitterroot Branch rail line will help revitalize and reconnect some of the city’s least prosperous neighborhoods to the larger community.”
Missoula Mayor John Engen thanked EPA on behalf of the community: “In Missoula we have found that EPA Brownfields funding is a critical catalyst for projects that simultaneously boost economic development and improve environmental health. We’re very grateful to EPA for its support and look forward to putting these funds to work cooperatively with the agency and the community.”
The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two-to-seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these brownfield sites. Another study found that property values of homes located near sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.
Communities can use EPA Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of brownfields.
List of the FY 2018 applicants selected for funding:
For more information on Brownfields grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
For more information on how brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories