The US Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that 151 communities and tribes were selected to receive $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding to assess, cleanup, and redevelop underutilized properties. These funds will assist communities in recycling vacant and abandoned contaminated properties for new and productive reuses. Nearly 30% of the communities selected are receiving brownfields funding for the first time.
Of the communities selected this year, 118 can potentially assess or cleanup brownfields sites in census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones. An Opportunity Zone is a designated economically distressed census tract where new private investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Check out the Redevelopment Institute’s webinars on Opportunity Zones for more in-depth information.
Communities that previously received brownfields grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields and successfully leveraged 8.5 jobs per $100,000 of EPA brownfields grant funds spent. A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.
The list of the FY 2020 can be found here.