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Georgia Receives EPA Brownfields Grants

Release Date: 06/15/2004
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has awarded Brownfields grants to two communities in Georgia to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. The two Georgia sites will receive a combined amount of approximately $400,000 in Brownfields grants for cleanup or assessment of the sites.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for Brownfields grants. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what's considered a Brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.

The two sites receiving grants in Georgia include:

Lumber City, Georgia Brownfields Assessment Grant $200,000

Lumber City's goal is to perform a complete environmental site assessment on a former manufacturing plant believed to be contaminated with hazardous substances. The remaining funds will be used to inventory, prioritize, and, if funding is available, assess additional sites in the three surrounding counties of Telfaer, Jeff Davis and Wheeler.

Future redevelopment of the site into a mixed-use industrial park will help bring much needed jobs to the area, increase tax revenue, and spark economic revitalization in the region. The redevelopment will also add greenspace and recreational areas for city residents.

Atlanta Youth Soccer Association, Georgia Brownfields Cleanup Grant $200,000

The Atlanta Youth Soccer Association site's goal is to demolish and dispose of existing asphalt paving and a dock structure at 161 Arizona Avenue, a 7.5-acre abandoned truck depot site. Petroleum funding will be used to clean, remove, and dispose of five underground storage tanks at the same site. The property will be developed into a youth soccer complex.

Replacement of this brownfield site with recreational greenspace will not only increase nearby property values, but will also help address concerns about asthma and obesity, two important public health considerations for the minority youth of Atlanta that populate this community.

In all, 219 applicants, including five tribal nations, were selected to receive 265 grants. The $75.4 million will provide:

    • 155 assessment grants totaling $37.6 million to be used to conduct planning for eventual cleanup at one or more Brownfield sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
    • 92 cleanup grants totaling $16.9 million to provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfield sites they own.
    • 18 revolving loan fund grants totaling $20.9 million to provide funding for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low or zero interest loans for Brownfields cleanups.
In March, 16 communities received job training grants totaling $2.47 million to teach environmental-cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living in low-income areas near Brownfields sites. To date, more than 60 percent of people completing Brownfields training programs have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average hourly wage of $12.84.

The Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded 554 assessment grants totaling over $150 million,171 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $145 million, and 66 cleanup grants totaling $11.4 million.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, and rail corridors to recreational trails. EPA's Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $5.8 billion in private investment, helped create more than 27,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 4,500 properties.

For more information on the grant recipients, go to: