EPA awards Lake Charles $200,000 for community cleanup projects
Efforts to revitalize areas within the City of Lake Charles are getting a lift from the Environmental Protection Agency and $200,000 in brownfields funding.
The city has been awarded a brownfields petroleum assessment grant to redevelop 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.
“Transforming challenged properties into sources of local pride and productivity is what the brownfields program is all about,” 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 environmental contamination. In addition to the Lake Charles grant, EPA awarded a total of $1.2 million in brownfields funding to the City of New Orleans and Progressive Church in Marrero. EPA Region 6 has provided more than $11 million for Louisiana brownfields projects since the beginning of the program in 1995.
“The awarding of this brownfields funding will encourage redevelopment of properties and, in turn, help build opportunities for future growth and new prosperity,” said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach. “We are extremely pleased to be receiving this grant.”
The EPA brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Nationally, brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.8 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 43,900 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 11,500 properties and the cleanup of 180 properties. EPA Region 6 accounts for 25 percent, or $2 billion, of the funding leveraged across the nation.
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