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New Orleans Area to Receive $600,000 in Brownfields Grants from EPA

Release Date: 8/26/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commemorated its selection of the city of New Orleans and the Regional Planning Commission to receive Brownfields grants.    The grants are part of a nationwide selection of 219 applicants sharing more than $75 million in EPA Brownfields grants.  

      "With the Brownfields program's help, communities across our nation are transforming neighborhood eyesores into community assets," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.  "Our thriving Brownfields program, operating under the landmark Brownfields Act signed by President Bush in January 2002, clearly demonstrates our commitment to a new and better way of environmental protection - one where economic prosperity and environmental protection work hand-in-hand."

      Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Mike McDaniel said, "We commend the vigorous efforts made by the grantees in securing vital Brownfields funding.  Our successful partnership provides a unified approach to site assessment, environmental cleanup and redevelopment.  The agency's priority is to support and help facilitate their efforts to revitalize communities that will provide jobs, needed tax revenues and recreational benefits."  

      New Orleans will receive two $200,000 assessment grants. With its first grant, the city plans two assessments on two properties located next to Booker T. Washington High School, the first African-American high school constructed in the district and a national historic landmark.  The properties will be transferred to the school to expand its vocational program in horticulture and aquaculture for the students and members of the surrounding community and add an annex to the school's parking lot.

      The city's second grant will be used to create an inventory of closed gas stations and assess as many other properties as possible.  The city has committed $30,000 of its Urban Development Action grant to further this project.  

      The Regional Planning Commission will also receive an assessment grant of $200,000.  It plans to conduct a community-wide assessment to identify and assess abandoned underground storage tanks in St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Plaquemines parishes.  

      Assessment grants are used to provide funding for property inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.  More information about EPA's Brownfields program is available at