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Release Date: 11/9/94
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For Release: Wednesday, November 9, 1994

EPA today announced a competition for new grants to help communities develop innovative ways to overcome the current obstacles to the cleanup and reuse of potentially contaminated urban properties. The Agency announced it will select five new national pilot demonstration projects under EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative. The Brownfields Initiative will provide a $200,000 grant over a two year period to each of the pilot projects chosen.
The Brownfields Initiative is intended to demonstrate ways to return unproductive abandoned urban sites to productive use and to ensure that future development is done a sustainable, environmentally sound manner. Similar grants have been awarded in Cleveland, Ohio, Bridgeport, Conn. and Richmond, Va. to start Brownfield pilot projects. In order to encourage redevelopment of these "brownfields" and to prevent the siting of future industrial sites in more pristine rural areas, or "greenfields," EPA initiated the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative.

Under the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Projects, communities will strive to find developers who will restore abandoned sites and thereby create new jobs and economic growth, increase property values, stimulate tax revenues and rejuvenate neighborhoods. EPA will work with the federal, state and local officials to develop a coordinated federal strategy to help initiate a significant national effort to encourage cleanup and redevelop redevelopment of brownfields. All the "brownfields" pilot projects feature cooperative efforts between diverse community groups, investors, lenders, developers, regulators and other involved parties.

Proposed projects must present: a demonstrated commitment of public and private leadership to brownfields redevelopment; plans for effective community involvement; a clear delineation of how federal support will make a significant difference; a potential for national replication; local government support and technical, legal and political capacity to complete goals; clearly outlined potential sources of cleanup funding; contributions to environmental justice goals; and a well-defined approach to environmental assessment.

Projects will be chosen by an EPA task force consisting of both headquarters and regional employees. The application deadline is March 1, 1995. Pilots will be awarded next summer. To request an application for a Brownfield Pilot, call the Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346.