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Release Date: 05/06/98
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced 36 new pilot grants to help local communities clean up and redevelop brownfields. Brownfields are abandoned pieces of land -- usually in urban areas -- that have real or perceived contamination from previous industrial use. These grants will help redevelop these sites, return them to productive community use and revitalize local economies. Under the Clinton/Gore Administration’s ongoing effort to cleanup and redevelop brownfields --including Vice President Gore’s leadership in urban revitalization -- 157 pilot project grants have been awarded nationally, totaling $28 million to date, and an additional 64 projects will be selected for grants later this year.
“By working to transform brownfields into hubs of economic activity, we will create new jobs, new revenue and new opportunity,” Vice President Gore said today. “These partnerships bring together government, business, community leaders and citizens to guarantee stronger and healthier neighborhoods for the 21st century -- places where our children can grow, our families can thrive and the economy is sure to prosper.”

The Brownfields grants awarded today total $200,000 for each community. The communities and tribes recently selected to receive the new grants include: Lewiston, Maine; New Britain, Conn.; Pioneer Valley, Mass.; Methuen, Mass.; Springfield, Mass.; Chelsea, Mass.; Malden, Medford and Everett, Mass. (one grant); New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services; Norwich and Griswold, Conn. (one grant); Niagara County, N.Y.; Yonkers, N.Y.; Ogdensburg, N.Y.; Johnstown, Pa.; Wheeling, W.Va.; Northampton County, Pa.; Charleston, S.C.; Jackson, Miss.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Seminole Tribe, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Calumet City, Ill.; Hennepin County, Minn.; Dayton, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; Sante Fe, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Galveston, Texas; Grand Prairie, Texas; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Kemmemer, Wyo.; Missoula, Mont.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Colton, Calif.; Tohono O’odham Nation, Ariz.; Port of Seattle, Wash.; and Everett, Wash.

EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner said, “Our effort to clean up brownfields is a cornerstone of the Clinton Administration’s efforts to help our nation’s communities in ways that make economic and environmental sense. Our Brownfields Initiative is working across the country in communities bringing new investment, helping create jobs and restoring hope and opportunity, while protecting the green areas outside our cities.”

Today’s announcement builds on a five-year effort to clean up and redevelop brownfields and revitalize local economies. Since 1993 the Clinton Administration has taken a series of actions under this initiative including: creating a national model to determine the best way to revitalize communities; providing seed money to 157 communities for revitalization; removing legal barriers to redevelopment; and providing a targeted tax incentive to businesses that purchase and clean up these sites. The Vice President recently named 16 Brownfields Showcase Communities that will serve as models of innovative environmental cleanup and revitalization. These communities will receive about $28 million funding and coordinated technical assistance from 15 federal agencies for environmental cleanup and economic revitalization as part of the Brownfields National Partnership -- the single largest federal commitment to clean up and redevelop brownfields.

The Clinton Administration has also committed to expand the EPA Brownfields Initiative by committing to award grants to a total of 300 communities by the end of 1999. The grant money will be used to assess contamination, involve community residents in future land use planning, resolve liability concerns and serve as a model for other communities seeking effective redevelopment approaches.

The goal of EPA’s Brownfields Initiative is to yield economic benefits and protect the environment by encouraging development on existing industrial sites, rather than in undeveloped areas. It is designed to empower states, local government and communities to develop public/private partnerships that restore abandoned sites to new uses, thereby increasing property values, stimulating tax revenues and revitalizing communities. The Brownfields pilots are intended to be used as seed money to help assess contamination, involve community residents in all aspects of the redevelopment process, leverage other public and private funds, resolve liability issues, spur cleanups and serve as models for other communities seeking effective redevelopment approaches.

For more information about Brownfields Initiative visit EPA’s Internet Homepage at: Information also can be obtained from the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.

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                                     Region 1

Lewiston, ME ($200,000) Mayor Kaileigh Tara Once Maine's largest employer, the 1.2 million square foot Bates Mill complex in Lewiston is now abandoned.  The city's Brownfields pilot plans include conducting environmental assessments and developing remedial plans to make the Bates Mill Complex an anchor for economic redevelopment.

New Britain, CT ($200,000) Mayor Lucian Pawlak The exodus of New Britain's small hardware parts and tools manufacturing industry left more than 600,000 square feet of vacant manufacturing space.  With the EPA Brownfields grant, the city plans to stimulate environmental cleanup and economic redevelopment at six abandoned sites and develop community outreach plans.

Pioneer Valley, MA ($200,000) Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci Located in midwestern Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley Region consists of 43 cities and towns in Hampshire and Hampden counties, which include approximately 450 abandoned industrial sites.  To decrease ongoing development of "greenfields," Pioneer Valley will encourage cleanup and reuse of brownfields, including developing an inventory of contaminated sites, producing cleanup and redevelopment criteria, and conducting site assessments.

Methuen, MA ($200,000) Mayor Dennis A. DiZoglio Due to decline of the textile mill industry, Methuen now has numerous vacant lots and underused historic buildings where perceived environmental contamination lies in the way of economic redevelopment.  Using the Brownfields grant, the town will clean up and redevelop three abandoned properties to expand and diversify the local tax base and create jobs.

Springfield, MA ($200,000) Mayor Michael J. Albano With the EPA Brownfields pilot grant, Springfield will focus on two priority sites--the Carew-Bond-Patton site, located in a federal Enterprise Community, which was home to a trolley facility, and the former Cottage Street landfill, which poses a threat to local water resources.  The Brownfields grant will help assess contamination at both these sites, opening the way for cleanup and redevelopment, and local economic revitalization.

Chelsea, MA ($200,000) Chairman Marilyn Portnoy The city of Chelsea will focus its efforts on cleaning up and redeveloping the 43-acre Everett Avenue Urban Renewal District, including assessing contamination, preparing cleanup plans for a key 8-acre area, and developing a community awareness and participation process.

Malden, Medford, Everett, MA ($200,000) Mayor Richard C. Howard, City of Malden Mayor Michael J. McGlynn, City of Medford Mayor David Ragucci, City of Everett With the EPA Brownfields grant, the cities of Malden, Medford, and Everett have joined in their Brownfields redevelopment efforts to construct a state-of-the-art telecommunications research and development park, called TeleCom City on a 200-acre former industrial site that once supported power generation and chemical production facilities.

New Hampshire DES ($200,000) Governor Jeanne Shaheen Beginning in the 1980s, many of New Hampshire's textile mills were abandoned or became under-utilized as manufacturing jobs left the state.  With the Brownfields grant, the State of New Hampshire has developed a new partnership program to provide small municipalities with seed money to help cleanup and redevelop idle properties.

Norwich and Griswold, CT ($200,000) City Council President Richard Abele, City of Norwich First Selectman Paul J. Brycki, Town of Griswold Beginning in the 1960's and 1970's, the textile and other manufacturing industries moved away from Norwich and Griswold, leaving high unemployment.  With the Brownfields grant, the cities will work with project partners, property owners, and local lenders to restore at least five of its major, abandoned industrial properties to productive economic use.

Region 2

Niagara County, NY ($200,000) Chairman Gerald E. Meal Over the last few decades, Niagara County experienced a significant economic decline, leaving dozens of potentially contaminated, vacant industrial sites.  The County's Brownfields pilot will target three sites for establishing an inventory of brownfields and conducting site assessments.  The county also plans to conduct outreach activities to involve the residents and other stakeholders in the community revitalization efforts.

Yonkers, NY ($200,000) Mayor John D. Spencer As a result of industrial decline, Yonkers' once productive Alexander Street Waterfront (ASW) has turned into an industrial wasteland.  With the EPA Brownfields grant, the city will focus on assisting the ASW Brownfields Initiative to cleanup and redevelop the 22-acre area, and build on the successes of adjacent downtown waterfront redevelopment efforts by continuing waterfront revitalization along the Hudson River.

Ogdensburg, NY ($200,000) Mayor Richard Lockwood Most of Ogdensburg's industrial manufacturing sites along the St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie rivers are abandoned.  Suspected contamination at these sites has hindered redevelopment of industrial space.  Ogdenburg's Brownfields program seeks to stimulate economic development of areas along the valuable waterfront.  The city will use the $200,000 EPA grant to complete assessments of three municipal sites in the waterfront area and perform outreach activities to ensure public participation in the cleanup and redevelopment processes.

Region 3

Johnstown, PA ($200,000) Mayor Donato Zucco Abandoned and underutilized industrial and manufacturing properties have contributed to the environmental deterioration of Johnstown.  The City of Johnstown, the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, and the Johnstown Area Regional Industries, Inc. have formed a "Brownfields Renaissance" partnership to produce a strategic cleanup and economic development plan for growth into the next century.  EPA Brownfields grant funds will be used to develop public-private partnerships, identify sites for assessment, and plan for cleanup and redevelopment.

Wheeling, WV ($200,000) Mayor John W. Lipphardt Wheeling, West Virginia   a city surrounded by mountains   has a history of industrial activity along the town's waterfront, the only property suitable for development.   Through the pilot, the city will assess contamination at four brownfields.  In addition, the city will create a brownfields cleanup education and resource center to facilitate community involvement at the four targeted sites.

Northampton County, PA ($200,000) County Executive Glenn F. Reibman Due to a decline in heavy industries, the city of Northampton is home to many abandoned or underutilized properties.  Businesses are reluctant to re-use these sites because of potential environmental contamination.  With EPA's Brownfields grant, the county will focus on assisting the Lehigh Valley Brownfields Strategy Task Force in maintaining an inventory of brownfields sites with redevelopment potential.

Region 4

Charleston, SC ($200,000) Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. With the EPA grant, the City of Charleston will focus on its "Neck" area, a 7.3-square mile federal Enterprise Community located north of historic Charleston and south of the closed Charleston Naval Complex.   The city's objective is to create sustainable, healthy neighborhoods that promote economic growth, job opportunities, and improvements in the quality of life for residents.   Jackson, MS ($200,000) Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. Jackson's Brownfields pilot will target the Farish Street Historic District, a 16-square mile area located within the city's Enterprise Community Strategic Planning Zone.  The city plans to select and assess a series of brownfield sites, identify redevelopment barriers, and establish a process for community involvement in the revitalization activities.

Winston-Salem, NC ($200,000) Mayor John J. Cavanagh, Jr. Winston-Salem's Liberty Street Corridor, now largely abandoned, once supported tobacco and textile manufacturing, and automobile-related businesses.  Activities planned as part of Winston-Salem's efforts to revitalize the Liberty Street Corridor include assessing brownfields for redevelopment and fostering community involvement in redevelopment.

Seminole Tribe, FL ($170,000) Chairman James E. Billie The Seminole Tribe's Hollywood Reservation in Broward County consists of 500 acres of heavy and light industrial and residential properties.  Because this reservation is surrounded by urban development and tribal lands are limited, the restoration and preservation of available land is a top priority.  The Brownfields pilot includes plans to assess contamination, develop a database of brownfields, and establish a community-based process to prioritize sites identified for cleanup and redevelopment.

Region 5

Fort Wayne, IN ($200,000) Mayor Paul Helmke With the EPA grant, the City of Fort Wayne will target one of the state's most distressed areas -- the Hanna-Creighton neighborhood.  To ensure that efforts to revitalize Hanna-Creighton are safe and sustainable, the city plans to use its brownfields pilot to conduct environmental assessments at the Bowser Pump Plant site and involve the community in cleanup and redevelopment planning.

Calumet City, IL ($200,000) Mayor Jerry Genova With the EPA grant, Calumet City will target for redevelopment the Marble Street Dump site, a 23-acre property once used for pesticide and acid manufacturing and industrial waste dumping.  Planned activities include assessing contamination and involving the community in planning for cleanup and redevelopment.

Hennepin County, MN ($200,000) Administrator Jeff Spartz With the EPA Brownfields grant, Hennepin County will focus on three abandoned, industrial sites -- Doc's Auto, Warden Oil, and Chemical Marketing Corporation -- for environmental assessment, cleanup and redevelopment.

Dayton, OH ($200,000) Mayor Michael R. Turner In the late 1960s, many businesses moved from Dayton to the suburbs, creating job loss and abandoning urban factories.  Dayton seeks to attract and train new workers and to concentrate tooling and machining companies, support services, and education opportunities in an area known as "Tool Town."  The city has selected a 35-acre former automobile factory as a prime candidate for Tool Town and plans to use its EPA Brownfields grant for environmental assessments and cleanup plans.

Milwaukee, WI ($200,000) Mayor John O. Norquist With EPA's Brownfields grant, the City of Milwaukee will target the Menomonee River Valley, a 1,500-acre area which was once home to industrial facilities, including foundries, power plants, coke and coal gasification plants, tanneries, cement plants, and chemical companies.  The city plans to clear the way for redevelopment and job growth by assessing environmental contamination and developing cleanup plans.

Region 6

Santa Fe, NM ($200,000) Mayor Debbie Jaramillo The decline of Santa Fe's railroad industry left behind a large corridor of potentially contaminated land and abandoned, deteriorating buildings in the center of the city.  The city will use its EPA Brownfields grant to revitalize its urban center and create jobs for residents by assessing environmental contamination and clearing the way for redevelopment along this corridor.
  Austin, TX ($200,000) Mayor Kirk Watson Many properties in east Austin are under-utilized because of perceived or real contamination from past industrial practices.  As part of its commitment to fostering economic, social, and environmental practices that create a sustainable community, Austin will use its EPA Brownfields pilot grant to create a long-term redevelopment program, develop stakeholder consensus on brownfields initiatives, conduct site assessments, and produce a quarterly newsletter on redevelopment and revitalization.

Galveston, TX ($200,000) Mayor Henry Freudenberg Once a thriving industrial and economic center and major seaport, the City of Galveston has been in steady economic decline for 30 years.  The city's Brownfields pilot, in coordination with other federal, state, and local efforts, will work to encourage and create incentives for environmental assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of the distressed areas of the state's Enterprise Zone.

Grand Prairie, TX ($200,000) Mayor Charles England Widespread contamination in the northern part of Grand Prairie has led to increased "greenfields" development in the southern part of the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Grand Prairie will use its brownfields pilot to create a comprehensive redevelopment program for three targeted areas.  The city plans to identify, assess, and prioritize contaminated properties in the target areas, evaluate potential uses, and formulate cleanup and redevelopment plans. Oklahoma City, OK ($200,000) Mayor Ronald J. Norick In recent years, Oklahoma City has experienced urban sprawl, with industrial and commercial  facilities relocating to outlying "greenfields."  The city is bringing together a variety of  resources to  -- including EPA's Brownfields grant -- to address environmental issues, redevelop abandoned industrial sites and revitalize inner city neighborhoods.  The EPA Brownfields grant will be used to identify sites for cleanup and redevelopment, conduct environmental assessments, and create a citizens' advisory group.

Region 8

Kemmemer, WY ($105,000) Mayor Jim Carroll Since the end of the oil and gas boom in the early 1980s, mining, construction, and manufacturing jobs in Kemmemer have steadily been replaced with less lucrative service industry positions.  With the EPA Brownfields pilot grant, the city will focus on a site on the Hams Fork River that includes a potentially contaminated, idle power plant.
  Missoula, MT ($200,000) Mayor Mike Kadas Over the last 20 years, the decline of the timber industry has resulted in massive job dislocation and abandonment of Missoula's timber processing facilities.  The City of Missoula hopes to return these idle properties to productive use and promote economic recovery for the city.  Planned pilot activities include environmental assessment and expansion of community participation in redevelopment efforts.

Region 9

Las Vegas, NV ($200,000) Mayor Jan Laverty Jones In Las Vegas, as casino development has concentrated along the "Strip," the historic downtown area ha become less attractive to developers.  With EPA's Brownfields grant, the city will target four areas in downtown Las Vegas for redevelopment.  Planned activities include preparing an inventory of brownfield sites, conducting environmental assessments, and holding town hall meetings to encourage dialogue between citizens and other stakeholders.

Colton, CA ($200,000) Mayor Karl E. Gaytan Over the past twenty years, Colton has experienced economic decline in the commercial and  industrial sectors of the community.  The city's Brownfields pilot will focus on the City Center-Rancho Mill area, which is home to dozens of vacant and dilapidated industrial structures.  The pilot will assess environmental contamination at selected sites and plan for cleanup and restoration of a portion of the Agua Mansa Enterprise Zone. Tohono O'odham Nation, AZ ($200,000) Chairman Edward Manuel The Tohono O'odham Nation's San Xavier District has a mix of industrial properties and low-income residential units.  The Nation's Brownfields pilot will focus on a chemical manufacturing plant located in this district.  The Nation will assess and plan for cleanup and redevelopment of this property, develop a community involvement plan, and establish protocols for future assessments.  

Region 10

Port of Seattle, WA ($200,000) Mayor Paul Schell With EPA's Brownfields pilot grant, the Port of Seattle will focus on the 970 acre Ballard Northend Manufacturing and Industrial Center (BINMIC), a partially abandoned industrial area located to the north of Seattle's downtown center.  Rising land prices and uncertainty regarding long-term cleanup liability threaten BINMIC's ability to cleanup brownfields and remain an industrial area.  The Port of Seattle plans to assess environmental contamination and develop a cleanup and redevelopment plan.

Everett, WA ($200,000) Mayor Ed Hansen Since the 1970s, the City of Everett's local base industries have been shifting away from forest products and other natural resource industries to technology and aerospace, resulting in many abandoned riverfront pulp mills.  The city seeks to revitalize the riverfront by developing these sites.  Pilot activities include completion of environmental assessments and facilitating community and business involvement in cleanup and redevelopment planning.