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EPA Selects City of Lackawanna and Broome County, New York for National Brownfields Grants; Niagara and Ulster Counties Will Get $150,000 to Boost Site Assessment Efforts

Release Date: 05/20/2002
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(#02039) New York, New York -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today selected the city of Lackawanna and Broome County to receive $200,000 grants to identify and assess contaminated sites that it can clean up and develop. The counties of Niagara and Ulster were selected for a Brownfields Supplemental Assistance grants of $150,000. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced these grants along with nineteen other new recipients of Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Grants.

Lackawanna and Broome County can also use the new funds for brownfields site assessments and to develop community outreach in the brownfields process. The Supplemental Assistance grants to the Niagara and Ulster counties will be used to support the site assessment efforts of both counties. The money will be awarded after EPA and the recipients work out the terms of the grant agreements, a process that should be completed in a few months. The Brownfields Program provides an opportunity to turn these properties into clean, job-creating, profit-producing assets once more. By reusing brownfields, communities help preserve their greenfields -- open areas that have never been developed. These grants are part of a national program administrated by EPA, through which the Agency has invested over $7 million dollars to assist in the redevelopment of New York’s brownfields over the past six years.

“Idle manufacturing sites are a major problem in upstate New York and the mid-Hudson Valley and contribute to the ailing economy in some areas,” EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny said. “The National Brownfields Initiative has been embraced by local governments as an important part of the cure.”

“EPA support of brownfields redevelopment in New York has provided a variety of benefits that have already improved the environment and local communities. For previous grant recipients, the common denominator for success has been strong partnerships with all levels of government, the community and the private sector,” Ms. Kenny added. “We welcome Lackawanna and Broome counties as our new brownfields community partners.”

The goal of EPA’s national Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is to restore industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

There are 26 cities or counties in New York that have been awarded brownfield grants. In addition to Lackawanna and Broome counties, also participating in EPA’s brownfields initiative are: Albany, Albany County, Buffalo, Chateaugua County, Elmira, Glen Cove, Glens Falls, Haverstraw, Johnstown, New York City, Niagara County, Niagara Falls, North Hempstead, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Rome, Schenectady, Seneca Nation, Syracuse, Troy, Ulster County, Utica, Watertown and Yonkers.

Call Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666 for fact sheets with more details on the new grants in New York state.