Somewhere near you, there may be a long-abandoned piece of industrial land that could be redeveloped safely to bring new jobs to the community.
Environmental Health News' Marla Cone writes: "In Augusta, Maine, an old paper mill that operated for more than a century will be turned into a new hotel and conference center. In Chicago, soil and ground water polluted with dry-cleaning solvents will be cleaned up to make room for a new library in a poor neighborhood. On an Indian reservation in Arizona, a contaminated tanning factory will be turned into a new industrial park, perhaps one that makes solar panels."
While such sites need cleanup, the contamination does not rise to the level of a Superfund site. Money to clean them up can come from developers, but EPA's "brownfields" program offers money to prime the pump and get them started.
On June 6, EPA announced a new round of grants going to nearly 200 communities in some 40 states and 3 tribal areas. Most of them go to poor and minority areas with high unemployment rates.
- Environmental Protection Agency: Release of June 6, 2011.
- List of fiscal 2011 EPA brownfields grants by state.
- "Nearly 200 Communities Awarded $76 Million in EPA Grants To Clean Up, Redevelop Industrial Sites," Environmental Health News, June 7, 2011, by Marla Cone.