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Baton Rouge, West Monroe to Receive $675,000 in EPA Grants for Redevelopment

Release Date: 6/20/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Four grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be awarded to Louisiana communities to promote redevelopment of "brownfields" sites -- places where environmental contamination or the perception of contamination has complicated redevelopment opportunities, EPA announced today.

      EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said, "These federal grants are among the first nationwide to be awarded under the Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act signed by President Bush.  The landmark legislation is helping communities across our states transform neighborhood eyesores into community assets.  At EPA, we recognize that cleanup is an important first step to making these abandoned properties available to the community, to provide jobs, needed tax revenues and recreational benefits that were not there before.  Brownfields restoration is a win-win for everyone."

      The city of Baton Rouge/East Baton Rouge Parish will use a $400,000 grant to assess hazardous and petroleum substances at six sites.  The parish is building on its existing brownfields work, having completed 21 assessments and leveraged more than $4 million for construction and redevelopment.

      The Hope Community Development Corporation in Baton Rouge will use its $35,000 grant to clean petroleum substances at a former gasoline station, which will be redeveloped into affordable single family housing. Hope has partnered with Baton Rouge Parish, which has a brownfields pilot program.

      Pelican Nest Learning and Resource Center in Baton Rouge will use its $40,000 grant to clean petroleum substances at a former gasoline station.  This brownfields pilot site will be redeveloped into an environmental learning center for children and is expected to serve about 300 visitors a week.

      West Monroe will use its $200,000 grant to assess petroleum substances at five sites.  The city has a brownfields pilot site and has completed a comprehensive site inventory.  West Monroe has partnered with the Hazardous Substances Research Center in statewide brownfields outreach efforts.

      EPA's brownfields program also funds state and local governments through cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and job training pilots. 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.

      More information about EPA's brownfields program is available at