Brownfields Program Adds 12 New Communities

Brownfields Program Adds 12 New Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added 12 new Showcase Communities to its Brownfields National Partnership. Each Showcase Community will receive up to $200,000 for environmental cleanup assessments and $200,000 to support a federal staff person loaned to the community for two years, for a total initial commitment of $4.8 million.

Additional financial and technical aid will be made available to the Showcase Communities from a wide range of federal programs depending on the community's needs. Communities will work with local and state officials to develop local solutions to clean up and redevelop brownfields, or contaminated unused industrial properties. These communities will then serve as national models for other communities working to develop broad-based cooperative efforts for the cleanup and reuse of brownfields.

According to EPA Administrator Carol Browner, the selection of these new Showcase Communities will help foster the cleanup of abandoned contaminated properties, while also bringing new jobs and new economic opportunities to these communities.

Since its creation in 1993, the Brownfields Initiative has awarded grants to 362 communities nationwide totaling over $140 million. These grants have resulted in almost 7,000 new jobs and have leveraged more than $2.3 billion in investment. According to the EPA, for every dollar invested by federal, state and local governments, almost $2.50 of private investment has been leveraged.

The first round of 16 Showcase Communities was announced in March 1998 and has netted more than $900 million in cleanup and economic redevelopment funds. The Showcase effort has assessed 536 properties and generated 2,716 jobs.

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