CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)—June 7, 2017. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the Downriver Community Conference in the Detroit area has been selected to receive a $500,000 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant. The Downriver Community Conference is one of 11 applicants across the nation with earlier Brownfield RLF grants selected to receive supplemental funding totaling approximately $5.35 million.
The Brownfields RLF program supports EPA’s commitment to help environmentally overburdened communities address local priorities. The supplemental funds announced today will help communities reuse vacant and abandoned properties and turn them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, transportation options, infrastructure and commerce opportunities.
“These supplemental funds help provide communities with resources to help clean up contamination, and turn blighted land into opportunities that can generate jobs and spur economic growth,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The Downriver Community Conference will use the supplemental grant to fund the Revival Commons Redevelopment Project on the former Tecumseh Products site in Tecumseh, Mich. The property consists of an 800,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on 53 acres of land in downtown Tecumseh. The funding will go towards cleaning up environmental contamination at the site where refrigeration components were once made. Upon completion, the redevelopment is anticipated to create more than 350 jobs and provide additional economic benefits to the community.
“This grant will assist our area in projects that will keep our environment, and region a healthy place to live and work,” said James Perry, executive director of the DCC. “We again look forward to working with the EPA to do a great job.”
“The Downriver Community Conference has long been an asset to our region, working in conjunction with EPA to clean up hazardous former industrial sites and turn them into assets for our communities,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “This award is a testament to the DCC’s great work, and the funding will allow them to continue to redevelop contaminated and unused properties in a way that benefits the economy, enhances quality of life and protects public health and the environment.”
RLF grants are often the last key piece of funding needed to make the cleanup and reuse of a brownfield property happen. They fund loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. These supplemental funds are provided to communities with current RLF grants who have already achieved success in their brownfields work, and keep the momentum going.
Former successful RLF communities have leveraged more than $6.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment investments and completed more than 657 cleanups. There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States, and EPA brownfield grants are helping to make a visible difference in communities across the country. As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24.3 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged.
On average, for every one EPA Brownfields dollar provided, $16.11 was leveraged. As for employment, on average, 8.5 jobs were leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
A recent national study has shown that cleaning up brownfields led to residential property value increases of 5 to 15 percent within a 1.24-mile radius of the site. Another study analyzing data near 48 brownfields found that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue is 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 those brownfields.
For a list of FY 2017 applicants selected for RLF Supplemental Funds: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-fy17-rlf-supplemental-funds-award-selections
For more information on EPA’s brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfields
To see project examples and success stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories