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Brownfields Showcase Presented to City of Dallas at Earth Day Fair

Release Date: 4/22/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other area Federal agencies presented a symbolic check for $1.1 million to Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk during Earth Day activities at Fair Park.

"Dallas is one of 16 communities to receive the Brownfields Showcase Community designation. These communities will share about $28 million in funding, technical assistance and personnel from 15 Federal agencies to help clean and revitalize Brownfields sites. The coordinated efforts of so many Federal agencies promises to make the Showcase the most effective Brownfields program to date,@ said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response Timothy Fields, Jr. .

Brownfields are abandoned industrial sites that are robbing communities of the opportunity to share in our nation's economic progress. Through the Brownfields program, the Clinton Administration is creating partnerships with government, business, community leaders and citizens to return these properties to the tax rolls, create jobs and restore a sense of community pride.

Acting Regional Administrator Jerry Clifford said, "With more than six sites in the cleanup and redevelopment process, Dallas is a model for cities throughout the country. Hundreds of jobs have been created and more than $110 million has been leveraged from private and public sources."

In 1995, U.S. EPA Region 6 awarded Dallas a $200,000 Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot grant to fund assessment activities.

Additionally in 1997, EPA funded a $350,000 Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund pilot in Dallas. This program provides funds for low-interest loans for cleanup to parties who did not contaminate the properties. These funds may not be used for non-environmental or redevelopment activities such as construction of a new facility or marketing of a property.

Elizabeth K. Julian, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo's Representative for the Southwest said, "Brownfields were once an important part of a community's economic foundation, and these sites can again be vehicles for urban renewal. This year HUD plans to make funds available nationwide for economic development of Brownfields. I am pleased to announce that HUD will fund a full-time position to assist Dallas with its Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative."

Brownfields usually exist in inner city areas. Whether or not they are contaminated with industrial toxins, they are perceived to be contaminated. These properties do not qualify as Superfund sites because they do not pose a serious public health threat.

Because of the stigma of the perceived contamination and legal barriers to redevelopment, businesses often do not buy these properties. They remain roped off, unproductive and vacant. Developers choose to locate in "green" areas outside the city, while the urban centers continue to deteriorate.

Transforming Brownfields into hubs of economic activity creates new jobs, new revenue, new opportunities and new hope for our nation's communities.