Ford Foundation Honors EPA's Brownfields Program

Ford Foundation Honors EPA's Brownfields Program

The Ford Foundation has given a $100,000 grant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Initiative. The grant is an Innovations in American Government award, funded by the Ford Foundation and sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.

EPA’s Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Program is a seven-year-old initiative that bolsters redevelopment of abandoned, polluted industrial sites.

Developers are often hesitant to invest in abandoned industrial sites, or brownfields, because unknown amounts of contamination could require expensive cleanups. The Brownfields program provides loans and grants for site evaluations to determine the extent and type of contamination.

In a press release, Harvard University said, "The Brownfields Initiative empowers citizens and encourages innovative methods of cleaning and safely reusing blighted properties ... It reflects a new model of environmental protection which creates economically viable, environmentally sound, self-sustaining communities."

Another $100,000 grant went to Maryland's Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation program, established by Gov. Parris Glendening in 1997.

"The Smart Growth initiative is the nation’s first statewide, incentive based, comprehensive effort to discourage sprawl," Harvard University said. "It uses the State’s $19 billion budget as an incentive to encourage less costly, more environmentally sensitive, and better planned growth."



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