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EPA Brownfields Grant to Address Contaminated Properties

Vipin Saini
Vipin Saini
Contaminated Properties
City of Lincoln, Nebraska, Selected for $800,000 EPA Brownfields Grant to Address Contaminated Properties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, to receive $800,000 in EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program. During the press event at the former Nature’s Variety Cold Storage Facility, Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu presented a novelty big check to Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. 

The city will use the funding to conduct six Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community involvement activities, develop cleanup and reuse plans, and clean up two priority sites. The grant project will focus on two target areas: the South (SoHay) and West Haymarket Districts. 

Priority sites in the SoHay District include the former Nature’s Variety Cold Storage Facility, a former grain elevator, Confidential Lumber Supply, and the former Police Garage and International Harvester Building. Priority sites in the West Haymarket District include a former United Pacific Railroad property known as the JPA site, the People’s City Mission site, and a former bulk oil distribution operation targeted for an urban agriculture project. 

“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.” 

“Communities can achieve important outcomes with Brownfields MAC funding,” said Acting Region 7 Administrator Edward Chu. “Lincoln will use the funds to develop cleanup and reuse plans and on community involvement. These actions lay the foundation for building resilient and thriving neighborhoods.” 

“Thank you to the EPA for this boost in resources that will help our city overcome remaining environmental challenges and grow the vibrancy of our West and South Haymarket neighborhoods,” said Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. “Brownfield grants like this one align with our local Climate Action Plan goals and do more than clean up polluted ground. They also create opportunities to build more housing, provide additional park land, address local food security, and improve our community’s health and well-being.” 

The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available at:  www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants. 

EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients. 

Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example: 

To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract over $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment. 

Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged an average of $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements. 

In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities. 

Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup – two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites. 

Source - EPA

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