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Atlanta Receives Earth Day Brownfields Award from EPA to Support BeltLine in Atlanta

Release Date: 04/22/2010
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,

(ATLANTA – April 22, 2010) At a ceremony today in Atlanta, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) Mathy Stanislaus announced a $400,000 grant to the City of Atlanta to clean up sites known as brownfields along the Atlanta BeltLine and other redevelopment corridors. The funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used for cleanup planning and community outreach activities. This move will help spur redevelopment, secure jobs and create greenspace.

"This EPA Brownfields grant will enable the transformation of vacant properties surrounding the BeltLine into beacons of hope and opportunities for local residents," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

"This grant provides the City of Atlanta an opportunity to tremendously improve our communities and it will expedite our efforts to revitalize areas along the Atlanta Beltline. Our city finds itself in the midst of very challenging economic times but with the help of grants like this, we are able to provide more job opportunities while also improving the quality of life for our residents," said Mayor Kasim Reed.

Atlanta was selected to receive two $200,000 brownfields assessment grants. The Community-wide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to oversee cleanup planning and support community outreach activities. The city is targeting the Atlanta BeltLine and selected redevelopment corridors for assessment.

There are an estimated 950 brownfield properties within Atlanta. The city is focusing on sites along the Atlanta BeltLine and other redevelopment corridors. The BeltLine is a 22-mile transit greenway that circles downtown and midtown Atlanta. There are about 136 brownfields along the BeltLine and another 40 in the other targeted corridors.

A health impact assessment of the BeltLine found that brownfields redevelopment can help reduce urban sprawl and lead to healthier communities by creating more greenspace and walkable areas. Cleanups funded through the Revolving Loan Fund grant will reduce potential human exposure to contaminants and help spur redevelopment of idle properties into economically productive uses and greenspace.

The grant will help to assess, clean up and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. 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 addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition.

The Brownfields Program encourages cleanup and redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 brownfields sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, EPA has awarded 1449 assessment grants totaling over $337.3 million, 242 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $233.4 million, and 534 cleanup grants totaling $93.3 million.

Additional information on the EPA Region 4 brownfields grant recipients and their projects is available at: