EPA awards $1.4 million to help Louisiana brownfields bloom into productivity
Three cities in Louisiana will receive $1.4 million 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 for communities in Lake Charles, Marrero, and New Orleans and are part of more than $70 million in brownfields funding to be awarded nationwide.
“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.
The City of New Orleans will receive a brownfields revolving loan fund grant of $1 million to cleanup sites with hazardous substances. More than 200 hazardous properties have been identified by the city. Cleanup of these brownfields will help renew greenspaces and support redevelopment.
In Lake Charles, the city will use a $200,000 brownfields petroleum assessment grant to revitalize portions of downtown, the Charpentier District and the North Lake Charles area. Part of the city’s plans include converting its riverfront into an accessible commercial area and constructing new housing downtown.
The Progressive Church will be awarded a $200,000 brownfields cleanup grant to remedy hazardous substances at an 18-acre site in Marrero. Cleanup will allow redevelopment of the site into a Family Life Center, school, day care facility, and affordable housing center for seniors. The facilities are expected to create 150 new jobs.
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.
This year, 202 applicants were selected to receive 294 assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants nationwide. EPA’s brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Nationally, brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 43,029 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 10,504 properties and the cleanup of 180 properties.
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