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EPA Awards Brownfields Grants in Alabama

Release Date: 06/15/2004
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,
Grants total $400,000 for assessments and cleanups

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded Brownfields Grants to help communities in the state of Alabama evaluate the environmental contamination of brownfield sites. The Brownfields grants help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for Brownfields grants. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what's considered a Brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.

Grants announced today include:

GUIN, AL Brownfields Assessment Grant $200,000 for hazardous substances

Grant funds will be used to perform site assessments of a former textile mill. To the extent the grant funds permit, additional assessments will be conducted at additional properties within the city. Grant funds will also be used to conduct a health study to determine the health impact to residents living near brownfields properties, and to conduct community outreach activities.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL BLACK WARRIOR-CAHABA RIVER LAND TRUST, Brownfields Assessment Grant $200,000 for hazadous substances

Grant funds will be used to conduct site selection, develop a site inventory, and perform assessments for selected sites along Fivemile Creek. Funds will also be used for community education and outreach activities.

In all, 219 applicants, including five tribal nations, were selected to receive 265 grants. The $75.4 million will provide:

    • 155 assessment grants totaling $37.6 million to be used to conduct planning for eventual cleanup at one or more Brownfield sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
    • 92 cleanup grants totaling $16.9 million to provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfield sites they own.
    • 18 revolving loan fund grants totaling $20.9 million to provide funding for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low or zero interest loans for Brownfields cleanups.
In March, 16 communities received job training grants totaling $2.47 million to teach environmental-cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living in low-income areas near Brownfields sites. To date, more than 60 percent of people completing Brownfields training programs have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average hourly wage of $12.84.

The Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded 554 assessment grants totaling over $150 million,171 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $145 million, and 66 cleanup grants totaling $11.4 million.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, and rail corridors to recreational trails. EPA's Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $5.8 billion in private investment, helped create more than 27,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 4,500 properties.

For more information on the grant recipients, go to: