The EPA has announced $11 million in supplemental funding to help clean up contaminated brownfields properties across the country. The Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) will help 31 grantees carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects. These projects are expected to create more than 700 jobs and leverage over $57 million in cleanup and redevelopment, while utilizing unique financing mechanisms and partnerships to protect people’s health and the environment, says Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
RLFs supply funding for grant recipients to provide loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When these loans are repaid, the loan amount and any interest is then returned to the fund and sub-granted or re-loaned to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital for brownfields cleanup. The supplemental grants range in funding from about $200,000 to $500,000 with an average grant award of $350,000.
This year’s supplemental funds will support an array of cleanup and redevelopment projects across the country. For example:
- In New York City, funds will be used to carry out two projects in partnership with a local non-profit that will build over 500 affordable housing units and create 320 temporary jobs and 46 permanent jobs.
- In Kansas City, Mo., a loan will be used to clean up the Westport Middle School and redevelop the site into residential housing and substantial green space with urban garden and urban farming components. The local developer plans to leverage New Market Tax Credits to finance other parts of the project.
- The State of Illinois’ EPA will use funds to partner with a nonprofit to bring urban agriculture to an Environmental Justice community in Chicago.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States, which the EPA’s Brownfields program targets to encourage redevelopment. EPA’s Brownfields investments overall have leveraged more than $21 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources, says the agency.
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