City of Laredo breaks ground on brownfields site
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency joined representatives from the City of Laredo today in a groundbreaking ceremony for a national brownfields site.
EPA awarded a $100,000 brownfields grant to the City of Laredo in 2006, which enabled it to clean up an 18-acre wetland and lake area that was the site of years of illegal dumping. The city plans to develop nature trails and park space on the site.
“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 cleaner land and a healthier 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 Laredo site suffered from years of illegal dumping of tires and other solid waste. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers cities and states to work together to clean up such properties and turn them into community assets.
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. The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.
Nationally, brownfields assistance has attracted more than $11.3 billion in private investment, helped create more than 48,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment and cleanup of nearly 12,000 properties.
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