EPA Announces Brownfields Investments in Three Tribal Communities
EPA brownfields investments protect health and environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development nationwide
LANSING - Today in Lansing, Michigan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced new national brownfields grants that will redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and help create jobs while protecting public health. The grants include almost $600,000 to three tribes in Arizona, Montana, and Washington. EPA’s brownfields grants are used to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties across the country like deserted gas stations or closed smelters. There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. These investments help leverage redevelopment, promote economic growth and lead to job creation. Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 70,000 jobs. Since 1995, EPA has awarded almost $13 million to tribes for assessment, cleanup, and job training grants. Brownfields grants target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
"Revitalizing our communities is vital to our health and the health of our local economies," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. "The grants we're awarding to communities across America will support projects that will help create thousands of jobs and make our communities cleaner, healthier and more prosperous places to raise a family and start a business. They're part of our overall effort to clean up communities and put our nation on the path to a sustainable future."
EPA issued grants that will go to 40 states and three tribes across the country.
Highlights of the projects planned by tribal grant recipients include:
• The Colville Confederated Tribes will use funds to clean up the Old Nespelem Post & Pole at the Colville Confederated Tribes Fish & Wildlife site and redevelop the site into an expanded Central Recycling Center and Solid Waste Transfer Station. The redevelopment will support the Tribes' efforts to close open dump sites throughout the reservation.
• The Gila River Indian Community will use funds to clean up the 40-acre former Arizona Tanning Company facility. The Community plans to redevelop it for business and industry space, including possible solar panel manufacturing and testing.
In 2002, the brownfields law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands, sites contaminated by petroleum, or sites contaminated as a result of manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs (e.g. meth labs).
More information on the FY2011 grant recipients by state: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/pilot_grants.htm
More information on EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
More information on brownfields success stories: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm
Actualities (sound bites): http://www.epa.gov/adminweb/multimedia/newscontent/2011-6-6-oa/