News Releases from Region 07
Topeka, Kan., Selected for $300,000 EPA Brownfields Grant to Revitalize Riverfront Area, Leverage Jobs, Promote Economic Redevelopment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., May 31, 2017) - Today, the city of Topeka, Kan., was selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to receive $300,000 for brownfield site revitalization efforts. The funding will support brownfield site assessments near the Kansas River, as an initial step toward redeveloping vacant and unused properties, transforming them to productive reuse that will benefit 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.”
Topeka is one of 172 communities across the country selected to receive a portion of approximately $56.8 million in Assessment and Cleanup Grant funds to work on sites within their community. Approximately $17.5 million of the assessment and cleanup funding announced 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. 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.
Addressing and cleaning up brownfield 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 brownfield sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2 percent. The studies also determined that brownfield cleanups can increase overall property values within 1.24 miles. 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 that 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.
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