Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the City of South Tucson will receive $300,000 in federal grant funds for brownfield site revitalization efforts, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe Housing Authority will receive $600,000 in cleanup grants. These grants are part of the $56.8 million awarded nationally to 172 recipients to assess and clean up historically contaminated properties, also known as brownfields, to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.
“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”
The City of South Tucson will use the $300,000 grant award to support brownfield property assessments in three key commercial areas and along the El Paso and Southwestern Greenway. The city’s economic development focus under this grant is the Central Business District and the Fourth and Sixth Avenue business corridors. These areas are currently home to blighted motels, gasoline stations and underutilized manufacturing facilities. EPA funding supports the city’s goals to attract and retain new businesses and to increase access for pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation. The city will also conduct property assessments along the El Paso and Southwestern Greenway to expand and improve this 6-mile, multi-use trail connecting the cities of South Tucson and Tucson.
The White Mountain Apache Tribe Housing Authority will use EPA’s $600,000 grant to clean up contamination from illegal drug (methamphetamine) manufacturing and use in tribal housing units. Thirty-three households in the communities of Cibecue, Fort McNary and White River will benefit from the cleanup, returning safe, low-income housing to hundreds of tribal members. The White Mountain Apache Tribe will coordinate this cleanup effort with the Tribe’s Environmental Protection Office as part of a long-term effort to resolve the tribal housing shortage resulting from illegal drug manufacturing and use on the reservation. As part of this coordinated effort, grant funds will support community engagement, which will lay the foundation for addressing an additional 100+ homes in need of hazardous waste cleanup.
Overview of the funds being announced today:
Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2% within a 1.24-mile radius of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to those brownfields.
As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
View the list of the FY 2017 applicants selected for funding here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding
More on EPA’s Brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfieldsMore on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories