West Texas to get $600,000 from EPA to assist with community cleanups
West Texas communities will receive $600,000 in brownfields grants to help revitalize former industrial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. The grants were announced by the Environmental Protection Agency today to help support cleanup activities in El Paso and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo.
“Brownfields grants help convert environmental eyesores into sources of local pride,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “These grants build on EPA’s commitment of working with communities to hand down a healthier, more prosperous future to the next generation.”
Brownfields are vacant, abandoned, or under-used properties where redevelopment may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers cities and states to work together to clean up these properties and turn them into community assets. More than $70 million in brownfields grants to communities in 38 states were announced by EPA today.
The City of El Paso was awarded two assessment grants totaling $400,000 to support cleanup activities at sites containing petroleum and hazardous substances. More than 80 brownfields sites have been identified by the city. The grant funding is expected to help bolster the city’s downtown redevelopment plans, as well as preserve greenspace.
The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo will use its $200,000 brownfields assessment grant to evaluate sites with hazardous substances and conduct community outreach. Cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields sites on tribal lands has been hindered by uncertainty surrounding the extent of contamination. Assessment of these sites will help clear the way for reuse plans that include constructing affordable housing, creating community greenspace and providing job opportunities.
Since the beginning of the program in 1995, EPA’s south central region has leveraged $2.3 billion in brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, helped create 10,700 jobs and resulted in the assessment of 750 properties. Additional information on the brownfields recipients is available at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields.
To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit www.epa.gov/region6.
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