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News Releases from Region 06

New Orleans Regional Planning Commission to Receive $300,000 from EPA to Assess Environmental Hazards

Contact Information: 
Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or

DALLAS – (May 31, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $300,000 to the Regional Planning Commission of New Orleans. The organization is one of 172 communities across the country selected to receive funding for brownfields site revitalization efforts. A total of approximately $56.8 million will fund selected recipients for brownfield site assessments and clean up. These initial steps towards redeveloping vacant and unused properties help transform the sites to productive reuse, benefiting the community and the local economy.

"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.”

The project’s goal is to address environmental issues in neighborhoods around the Industrial Canal, helping spur the revitalization of a key commercial corridor. We will also partner with the Port of New Orleans to reduce ozone, NOx, particulate matter and other emissions that result from Port-related activities and with RPC’s Clean Air Coalition (our Ozone Advance Program) to promote sustainable reuse to improve air quality. Based on past and current projects, the Commission estimates that for every $1 of EPA Brownfields funding, $91 will be invested into the community through the redevelopment. 

The Commission received two grants totaling at $300,000: a $150,000 hazardous substance assessment grant and a $150,000 petroleum assessment grant. Both grants will be used to conduct six site assessments and create cleanup plans. The grants will also be used for a range of community outreach activities. 

Approximately $17.5 million of the assessment and cleanup funding announced today will benefit small and rural communities with populations less than 10,000.  Approximately $25 million will go to communities who are receiving assessment and cleanup funding for the first time.  Selected recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 - $600,000 in funding to work on individual sites or several sites within their community. These funds will provide communities with resources necessary to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed. Brownfields assessment and cleanup activities bring sites strides closer to realizing their full potential, while protecting public health and the environment.

Addressing and cleaning up sites across the nation will ultimately boost local economies and leverage redevelopment jobs while protecting public health and the environment. Brownfield sites are community assets because of their locations and associated infrastructure advantages. Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between five and 15.2%. The study also determined that brownfield cleanup can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius. 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 the EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfields.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America.  As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged 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. 

List of the FY 2017 applicants selected for funding:

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