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Louisiana to get cleaner, greener with $1 million from EPA

Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or

More than $5 million in brownfields funding awarded across region

(Dallas, Texas – April 7, 2008) Several groups in Louisiana will be working to transform polluted properties into community assets with the help of $1 million in brownfields grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The grants were announced today by EPA to support cleanup efforts in the cities of Alexandria, Lake Charles and New Orleans.

“EPA continues to use the brownfields program to stimulate environmental and economic success in our communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “This program is a great example of how federal and local groups can work together to turn contaminated properties into viable developments.”

Brownfields are vacant, abandoned or under-used properties with redevelopment potential that suffer from known or perceived environmental contamination. More than $5 million in brownfields grants were announced today across EPA Region 6, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Louisiana’s brownfields recipients include the following:

* City of New Orleans - two brownfields grants totaling $400,000 to assess sites with hazardous substances and potential petroleum contamination and to conduct community outreach. The city has identified 267 brownfields sites and 177 closed service stations. Redevelopment plans for the sites include housing and greenspaces.

* Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, LLC - $200,000 to clean up the Saratoga Street Incinerator site in New Orleans. Soil at the site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins. Once cleanup is complete, the property will be used for single-family residences and a community garden.

* City of Lake Charles - $200,000 to clean up the former Sears and Roebuck retail store on Ryan Street. The 30-year-old structure covers about four acres and is contaminated with metals, inorganic contaminants, and other hazardous substances. Future plans include redeveloping the property into a hotel with retail and office space.

* City of Alexandria - $200,000 to set up a geographic information system inventory of sites, conduct assessments, and support community outreach. Former refinery, chemical, and manufacturing activities have left hazardous substances in several areas. Assessment of these brownfields sites is expected to spur community improvements.

Since the beginning of the program in 1995, EPA’s south central region has leveraged $2.3 billion in brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, helped create 10,700 jobs and supported the assessment of 750 properties. The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Nationally, brownfields assistance has attracted more than $11.3 billion in private investment, helped create more than 48,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment and cleanup of nearly 12,000 properties.

Additional information on the brownfields recipients and their projects is available at

To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit

An EPA audio file is available at