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City Announces Second EPA Grant Award within a Week, Bringing Total to $600,000 for the month of May alone

5/20/2016

Contact Information:

April Odom

Mayor’s Office of Public Information

 

ATLANTA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the selection of a new grant investment totaling $400,000 to the City of Birmingham, AL. This announcement comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of a $200,000 work force development grant also from the EPA.

“These grants will empower communities to transform idle, languishing lands into vibrant hubs for business, jobs, and recreation,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “It’s all about providing that initial funding, and sparking that first conversation to set stalled sites on a path toward smart, safe redevelopment that directly benefits communities.”

Today’s announcement is a Brownfields Program grant. EPA’s Brownfields Program strives to expand the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses. The investments will provide communities with the funding necessary to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. Brownfields ARC grants provide resources early on, which is critical for the success of communities’ abilities to leverage additional partnerships and resources. Partnerships between neighborhoods, local developers and governments are essential for impacted communities to acquire the resources needed to meet their revitalization goals.

The City of Birmingham will receive a $400,000 community-wide assessment grant.

“This grant will allow us to continue the work and redevelopment in the North Birmingham community. We are aggressively pursuing every federal dollar we can capture and private funding on every level to continue to improve our neighborhoods. Our appreciation goes out to our partners and the City staff that worked together to make this happen,” said Mayor William Bell.

Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent. Data also shows that brownfields clean ups can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius.

Preliminary analysis of 48 brownfields sites shows that an estimated $29 million 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 the EPA contributed to the cleanup of these brownfields.

“The District 4 family shares one common goal, making our neighborhoods better for the next generation. We can only do that by working together to make a difference. Our working groups have established partnerships with the EPA and other federal agencies. We are pleased to see those partnerships grow and expand into tangible results,” said District 4 City Councilor William  Parker, Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee.

This latest funding advances EPA’s broader commitment to making a visible difference in communities by focusing on coordinating federal investments to help environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities address local priorities. The Brownfields Program invests in communities where there are multiple federal agency partnerships at work. Aligning federal resources allows agencies to better meet communities’ needs and for communities to more effectively reap the benefits of collaborative investments.

ARC grantees demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake specific projects, as they have firm commitments of leveraged funds to move projects forward. An impressive 70 percent of recipients have secured public and private resources which will directly align and further the efforts of proposed projects.

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