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Arkansas to Receive $746,500 in EPA Brownfield Grants
Release Date: 6/15/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
The city of Helena and Pulaski County will receive grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate redevelopment of former abandoned properties, EPA announced today. The grant is one of a nationwide selection of 219 applicants sharing more than $75 million in EPA Brownfields grants. The Brownfields program helps support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup activities, and job training.
"These federal grants are awarded under the Brownfields Act signed by President Bush in January 2002. The landmark legislation continues to help local and state leaders throughout the country in their efforts to revitalize abandoned properties," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "The importance of making these properties available to the community, providing jobs, needed tax revenues and recreational benefits that were not there before is a priority for us as we work towards our goal to recycle and renew polluted land."
Helena will receive a $400,000 assessment grant to identify, inventory and assess hazardous materials and petroleum substances at abandoned industrial and commercial properties community-wide. The funds will fuel an ongoing collaboration between the cities of Helena and West Helena to revitalize their cities after decades of economic decline.
With its $346,500 assessment grant, Pulaski County plans to conduct assessments of targeted Brownfield properties in a part of Little Rock and North Little Rock that was historically industrial in nature and has a significant low-income, minority population. All projects in the Pulaski County Brownfield program will be encouraged to work with the U.S. Green Building program and incorporate green building concepts.
Assessment grants are used to provide funding for property inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach. EPA's Brownfields program also provides funding to assist states and tribes in developing area-wide Voluntary Cleanup Programs. These programs provide states, tribes, municipalities and communities useful information and strategies to promote a unified approach to site assessment, environmental cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties.
In March 2004, 16 communities received job training grants totaling $2.47 million to teach environmental cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living near Brownfields sites.
More information about EPA's Brownfields program and grants awarded nationwide is available at www.epa.gov/brownfields. More information about EPA's goals is available at http://epa.gov/adminweb/leavitt/500dayplan.htm.