Communities in 40 States Get EPA Grants To Redevelop Brownfields

June 8, 2011

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.