News Releases from Region 02
EPA Selects Niagara County, New York to Receive a $300,000 Grant to Investigate Contaminated Properties
(New York, N.Y. – May 31, 2017) Niagara County, New York, was among 172 communities across the country selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.
“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”
Niagara County was selected to receive two community-wide grants to conduct environmental site assessments; $200,000 for hazardous substances, and $100,000 for petroleum contamination. Funds from these grants will be used to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to Niagara County’s brownfield sites. Many of the sites are abandoned, unsuitable for redevelopment, are community eyesores, and drain the economic vitality of the area.
Since 1998, Niagara County has received $4.8 million in brownfields grants. Past assessment work in Niagara County has revealed asbestos, chlorinated solvents, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), petroleum products, radioactive materials, and petroleum-contaminated soil and groundwater. Today, Niagara County maintains a comprehensive brownfield inventory list of 338 sites stemming from former dry cleaners, paper mills, cold storage facilities, and other manufacturers.
Once the sites are assessed and cleaned up, site reuse plans can be put in place to include:
- developing new light industrial space;
- advanced manufacturing;
- a technology and business park;
- new green industries;
- new housing; and
- tourism-related development.
Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5% and more than 15%. and can increase property values within 1.24 miles of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 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 those brownfields.
As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged across the country as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
About EPA’s brownfields program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding
Successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories
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290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866 - www.epa.gov/region2