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New Orleans Area to Receive $600,000 in EPA Brownfield Grants
Release Date: 6/15/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
The city of New Orleans and the Regional Planning Commission will receive grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate redevelopment of former abandoned properties, EPA announced today. The grants are part of a nationwide selection of 219 applicants sharing more than $75 million in EPA Brownfields grants. The Brownfields program helps support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup activities, and job training.
"These federal grants are awarded under the Brownfields Act signed by President Bush in January 2002. The landmark legislation continues to help local and state leaders throughout the country in their efforts to revitalize abandoned properties," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "The importance of making these properties available to the community, providing jobs, needed tax revenues and recreational benefits that were not there before is a priority for us as we work towards our goal to recycle and renew polluted land."
New Orleans will receive two $200,000 assessment grants. With its first grant, the city plans two assessments on two contiguous properties located next to Booker T. Washington High School, the first African-American high school constructed in the district and a national historic landmark. The properties will be transferred to the school to develop a training program for the students and add an annex to their parking lot.
The city's second grant will be used to create an inventory of closed gas stations and assess as many properties as possible. The city has committed $30,000 of its Urban Development Action grant to further this project.
The Regional Planning Commission will receive an assessment grant of $200,000. It plans to conduct a community-wide assessment to identify and assess underground storage tanks in St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Plaquemines parishes. Assessment grants are used to provide funding for property inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
EPA's Brownfields program also provides funding to assist states and tribes in developing area-wide Voluntary Cleanup Programs. 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.
In March 2004, 16 communities received job training grants totaling $2.47 million to teach environmental cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living near Brownfields sites.
More information about EPA's Brownfields program and grants awarded nationwide is available at www.epa.gov/brownfields. More information about EPA's goals is available at http://epa.gov/adminweb/leavitt/500dayplan.htm.