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Oklahoma to Receive $1.8 Million in EPA Brownfield Grants
Release Date: 6/15/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
Four Oklahoma entities will receive grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate redevelopment of former abandoned properties, EPA announced today. The grants are part 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."
The Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments will receive two grants. With its $1,000,000 revolving loan fund grant, the association plans to award low or no-interest loans and subgrants to communities for Brownfield properties that have been already identified with its existing assessment grant. Candidates for cleanup include a Chickasha greenspace site to be the home of a transportation museum and park, and the Lawton and Temple Haggar buildings. The association will also receive a $200,000 assessment grant, which it will use to initiate six assessments on targeted sites already in its Brownfields program.
The Absentee Shawnee Tribes of Oklahoma will receive a $200,000 assessment grant. They plan to assess the McVey and Lillard site, a 21-acre former pipe supply site owned by the tribes, which is believed to be contaminated with metals and petroleum byproducts. The site is located near the Red Hills Community Development project, which will be an assisted living and convalescent facility.
The Oklahoma Energy Resource Board will receive a $200,000 assessment grant, with which it plans to enhance its existing inventory and assessment program on orphaned petroleum contaminated sites across the state.
The city of Tulsa will receive a $200,000 assessment grant, to be implemented by the Tulsa Industrial Authority (TIA). The city plans to select candidate sites for environmental assessment in combination with the Tulsa Urban Development Department and the Tulsa Public Schools. TIA will help the schools clean and reuse various underutilized school properties. Urban Development and TIA will coordinate on the East Village Project (115 acres) and an Oklahoma State University expansion in the Greenwood district for future student housing. Tulsa has a successful Brownfields program, built in part by EPA Brownfields assessment grants in 1997 and 2000 ($200,000 and $150,000, respectively).
Assessment grants are used to provide funding for property inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach. Brownfields revolving loan fund grants provide funding to cities and states to capitalize loans that are used to restore Brownfields.
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.