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Feds Giving Big Bucks To Revitalize Brownfields

Release Date: 10/27/2003
Contact Information: David Sternberg, 215-814-5548

David Sternberg, 215-814-5548

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is giving out $100 million dollars in federal grants to encourage redevelopment and revitalization of “brownfields.” Brownfields are former industrial properties where expansion, redevelopment or reuse is complicated by real or perceived contamination.

Potential recipients of federal brownfields grants include local and state governments, tribal authorities, quasi-governmental agencies such as industrial development authorities, state- legislated entities, metropolitan planning organizations, redevelopment agencies, and non-profit organizations.

EPA offers several kinds of brownfields grants. The most popular of these are the site assessment grants. These grants provide up to $400,000 to inventory, characterize and assess brownfield sites for planned redevelopment. EPA also provides grants for cleanups of up to $200,000 per site and up to $1 million dollars to establish revolving loan funds.

Brownfields success stories can be found across the country, from the smallest -- occupying less than an acre – to the largest, encompassing whole neighborhoods. In Lowell, Ma., an abandoned textile mill and ash dump were converted into the 6,000-seat Edward J. Lelacheur Ballpark, and the 8,000-seat Paul E. Tsongas Arena.

In Richmond, Va., at the former site of an armory, Whitehall-Robins, a pharmaceutical company built a 100,000-square-foot laboratory and office. And, in Houston, nearly 1,000 acres of brownfields have been cleaned up for various uses, including a major league ballpark, a golf course, a performing arts center, an aquarium, an entertainment complex and 1,000 new housing units.

Proposals for the current round of grants must be received by December 4, 2003 and the awards are expected to be announced in April 2004. For more information about EPA’s brownfield grants go to or call (215) 814-3129.