EPA Gives Money to Revitalize Puerto Rico Communities
Three municipalities in Puerto Rico will receive brownfields grants totaling $800,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties into productive community sites.
“EPA’s brownfields program is proving to be one of the greatest environmental success stories of the past decade,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “These grants will enable municipalities of Puerto Rico to hand down a healthier, more prosperous future to the next generation.”
Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas stations to housing.
EPA is awarding assessment grants to these communities in Puerto Rico:
Cataño and Mayagüez will receive $200,000 each to assess local brownfields sites impacted by petroleum contamination.
San Germán will receive two grants totaling $400,000 to assess local brownfields sites impacted by hazardous substances and petroleum contamination.
To date, EPA has awarded a job training and eight assessment grants to Puerto Rico totaling $1.7 million.
The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded 1,067 assessment grants totaling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totaling $61.3 million. EPA’s 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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