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Baltimore Wins Federal Grant to Develop Smart Sites
Release Date: 7/24/2002
Contact Information: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548
David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548
PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the award of a grant of $45,000 to the Baltimore Development Corporation under the Smart Growth: Saving Open Space, Revitalizing Brownfields program. The grant will support the establishment of “Smart Sites,” a program to market brownfield sites to potential developers.
Brownfields are abandoned industrial and commercial properties where contamination has been a barrier to expansion or redevelopment.
“Smart Sites will make things easier for those interested in developing a brownfields site in Baltimore by streamlining permit and approval procedures, and identifying a single point of contact within government to assist the developer,” said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.
Through “Smart Sites,” state and city governments will promote sites that have been identified as development priorities. The program will target sites most likely to create smart growth projects, considering the potential for a mix of uses and proximity to public transit.
Promotion of brownfields development encourages land recycling, while reducing development pressure on greenfield sites. This helps protect air and water quality by reducing the amount of vehicle miles traveled and the amount of land paved over by greenfield development. The “Smart Sites” approach, which includes a website to publicize financial incentives for developing brownfields, will also serve as a model for other communities of how to inventory, manage, and promote the reuse of brownfield sites.
EPA’s “Smart Growth: Saving Open Space, Revitalizing Brownfields” grant program is an important component of EPA Administrator Whitman’s “Open Space Preservation Strategies for Promoting Smarter Growth and Environmental Preservation” initiative. Announced Jan. 24, 2002, this initiative recognizes the critical importance of linking open space preservation and Brownfield redevelopment through a smart growth approach to achieve better environmental protection. In addition to the grants, the initiative provides technical assistance to states and communities to prioritize open space for preservation.
For more information about the grant program or the Administrator’s initiative, go to www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/brownfields.htm.