EPA announces $300,000 Brownfields Grants for Norristown, Pa.
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (April 25, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Norristown, Pennsylvania a $300,000 Brownfields grant to conduct site assessments of potentially contaminated properties, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure" said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
“EPA’s Brownfields grants provide a boost to communities by helping to put people back to work while also creating cleaner, healthier and economically stronger neighborhoods,” said EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “The city of Norristown will use this funding to evaluate vacant unused industrial properties and explore ideas on how these properties can be cleaned up and returned to productive use.”
EPA has previously awarded $800,000 in Brownfields grants to Norristown and they have identified more than 60 sites for potential redevelopment including 17 properties that have been assessed to date with those funds.
“This funding will allow Norristown to continue on the road of redevelopment and revitalization that we have been working towards,” said Norristown Municipal Administrator Crandall O. Jones. “We have felt the impacts of former industrial sites sitting idle and loss of jobs and our workforce. However, with the assistance of EPA funding, we have been able to step in front of the problem of historic environmental legacy issues and remove the obstacle of unknown and uncontained impacts.”
Norristown is one of 144 communities nationwide that will receive Brownfields grants this year for environmental assessment, revolving loan funds, and cleanups. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.
The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 Brownfields sites found 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 EPA contributed to the cleanup of these Brownfield sites. Another study found that property values of homes located near Brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.
Communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of Brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on Brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund Brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of Brownfields.
List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy18-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-grants.
For more information on the ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding.
For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields.
For more information on how brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories