EPA awards Brownfields grants to City of Minneapolis and St. Paul Port Authority
The city of Minneapolis and the St. Paul Port Authority have been awarded a total of $800,000 in federal Brownfields grants, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5.
Brownfields are abandoned or underused sites where expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance. Some brownfield success stories include the conversion of industrial waterfronts to riverfront parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails and gas stations to housing.
“EPA’s Brownfields program is an environmental success story, but it’s also an economic success story,” said Mary A. Gade, EPA Region 5 administrator. “These grants are helping local communities reclaim abandoned properties and make them productive again.”
The federal grants announced today are assessment grants, which are used to inventory, characterize and assess sites contaminated by hazardous substances or petroleum, and cleanup grants, used to clean up contamination at a site and move it closer to re-use. EPA’s Brownfields program also has a third type of grant to help local communities set up revolving loan funds that make cleanup funds available locally. No revolving loan funds grants were awarded in Minnesota this year.
Minneapolis was awarded a $200,000 cleanup grant for hazardous substances, and another $200,000 cleanup grant for petroleum. The funds will be used to clean up the former Scrap Metal Processors site at 1129 2nd Ave., N. The former box factory and scrap metal recycling facility is contaminated with metals, volatile organic compounds, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, better known as PAHs. The funds will also pay for cleanup of the Special School District #1 site at 1001 2nd Ave., N. This is a former school transportation center with up to 10 above-ground fuel storage tanks.
St. Paul Port Authority was also awarded two grants. One is a $200,000 grant that will be used to clean up the former Griffin Wheelworks property at 941 Johnson Parkway, which had been used since the 1860s as a manufacturing and foundry facility. It is contaminated with heavy metals and PAHs. The second grant, also for $200,000, will be used to conduct four to six environmental site assessments, primarily in the Phalen, Great Northern and University-Midway corridors. Some of the funds from both grants will be used to translate information for the public into Spanish, Hmong and other languages.
To date, 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.
This year, 202 applicants nationally were selected to receive 294 grants. EPA will award $70.7 million, which will be used for:
189 assessment grants totaling $36.8 million to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfield sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
92 cleanup grants totaling $17.9 million for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites they own.
13 revolving loan fund grants totaling $16 million for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to clean up brownfield sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low-interest loans for brownfields cleanups.
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