News Releases from Region 02
EPA Announces $3 Million in Brownfields Grants for Communities Across New York
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that Broome County, Glens Falls, Gowanda, Ithaca, Montgomery County, Rochester, Sullivan County Land Bank, and Wayne County, have been selected to receive a total of $3,008,000 to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program. Under President Trump’s Administration, EPA has delivered approximately $287 million in Brownfield grants directly to communities and nonprofits for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation, and economic development through the award of over 948 grants. EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez announced the grant during two virtual events with recipients and Members of Congress.
“The EPA Brownfields program has helped New York’s communities by transforming once-vacant properties into beacons of hope, especially for many economically disadvantaged neighborhoods,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Vacant or contaminated land may not feel or look like a community asset waiting to happen, but with the right knowledge, skills, vision and investment, these properties offer local governments and neighborhoods some of the best opportunities to transform their futures. Through the Brownfields program, we can reverse blight and replace it with regeneration— and with even one property’s reuse, we can spur community-wide revitalization.”
“Rebuilding and revitalizing our neighborhoods starts with cleaning up contamination from old sites,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “As we face challenging times, this funding will create new opportunities for construction and modernizing our communities. As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I promise to continue fighting for clean air, clean water, and the health and safety of our state."
“The Brownfield grant program is crucial to protecting public health and spurring economic development. The Southern Tier is a great place to live, raise a family, or start a business and these funds will be used to help us identify and eventually cleanup areas that threaten our safety,” said Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22). “I will always keep fighting for these dollars for our community because I know, together, we can protect our environment, cleanup our community, and continue economic growth.”
“In Congress, I was proud to lead efforts to reauthorize the Brownfields program. This program has invested millions of dollars in communities throughout our region, revitalized industrial sites, and spurred economic development,” said Congressman John Katko (NY-24). “Today, I am pleased to announce that Wayne County has been awarded $600,000 through the Brownfield Assessment Coalition Grant. With over 200 years of heavy industry in Wayne County, we have former industrial, manufacturing, and utility business sites that are now unusable. This new funding will be used to assess these sites in the Town of Arcadia, the Town of Lyons, and the Village of Newark. I am proud to have advocated for this program’s reauthorization and am pleased to see this latest grant identifying clean-up sites and beginning the process of redevelopment in Wayne County.”
“Investing in the health and vitality of our environment is one of the greatest investments we can make – which is why I’m delighted that Rochester has been selected to receive a Brownfields Cleanup Grant,” said Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25). “This significant award will not only help protect our environment, it will strengthen economic development opportunities and revitalize our downtown community. I’m grateful to the EPA for their partnership and look forward to continuing our work to create greener, more sustainable neighborhoods throughout Rochester.”
“We’ve long supported the EPA’s Brownfields program because I care about the economic and environmental health of communities across Western New York,” said Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23). “By working with the public to fund new strategies to clean up these sites, we can reduce historical pollution, generate new economic opportunities, and open up previously unusable land for environmentally responsible development and enjoyment.”
“This funding will be crucial to helping the City of Glens Falls clean up a formerly contaminated site, and will help spark economic development opportunities,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21). “This grant will not only help cleanup environmental contaminants, but also utilize these properties to create jobs, increase the tax base, and open new opportunities for a previously un-used area. I am proud to advocate for federal funding that supports community-based projects like the one that will be conducted in Glens Falls, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it has on the area.”
Nationwide, this year, the agency is announcing the selection of 155 grants for communities and tribes totaling over $65.6 million in EPA brownfields funding the agency’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Programs. These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities, including neighborhoods located in Opportunity Zones, in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Of the 151 total communities selected, 118 of these communities can potentially assess or clean up brownfield sites in census tracts designated in these zones. In addition, nearly 30% of the communities selected today will receive brownfields funding for the first time.
Broome County Industrial Development Agency, NY – $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
EPA has selected the Broome County Industrial Development Agency for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant targeting a former tannery and industrial waste dump, a former shoe factory, and a former auto dealership in the Susquehanna Innovation Corridor, which includes the Village of Endicott, Village of Johnson City, and the Town of Union. Grant funds will be used to identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities.
“The Agency is thrilled to receive the EPA’s Brownfield Communitywide Assessment Grant. We have a number of sites that serve only as a reminder of our post-industrial past. With the EPA’s program and utilization of these grant funds, we will reimagine our future,” said Stacey Duncan, executive director of the Broome County Industrial Development Agency.
Glens Falls, NY – $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
EPA has selected the City of Glens Falls for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant targeting the city’s Gateway Industrial Corridor, which is home to at least 12 vacant and underused paper, cement, and pigment factories and more than 20 shuttered service businesses. Grant funds will be used to identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities.
“City of Glens Falls expresses our appreciation to EPA for this funding award together with their assistance and cooperation that the City has received from EPA staff including Phil Clappin and others for guidance and recommendation,” said City of Glens Falls Mayor Dan Hall. “EPA’s risk assessment program has directly led to economic projects within the City starting with anchor projects in the City downtown center, sites for housing rehabilitations, first time home buyers’ program and mixed use developments”
Gowanda, NY – $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
EPA has selected the Village of Gowanda for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant targeting 20 sites within the Central Business District, the Eco/Recreational Tourism Corridor, and the Agri-hub Agritourism District. Grant funds will be used to identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities and website updates.
“On behalf of the Village of Gowanda, our Board of Trustees, Employees, and Community at large, I would like to express my extreme gratitude and excitement on being awarded the Brownfield Assessment Program funding,” said David L. Smith, Mayor of the Village of Gowanda. “These funds are essential to continue to identify and assess properties in need of remediation while making them even more attractive and enticing to potential developers. This funding will eliminate financial burden as we approach final stages of our brownfield opportunity and development.”
Ithaca, NY – $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
EPA has selected the City of Ithaca for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant targeting sites located near Ithaca’s waterfront, including Inlet Island, Immaculate Conception School, the NYS-DOT Maintenance Site, Carpenter Business Park, and the Taber Street Automobile Service property. Grant funds will be used to identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities.
“Ithaca is thrilled to secure federal money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help redevelop potentially contaminated properties,” said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. “This funding is critical, now more than ever, to help spur the local economy and create jobs.”
Montgomery County, NY – $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
EPA has selected Montgomery County for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant targeting a former fuel oil storage company, a 0.4-acre former laundry, and a former paper mill in the City of Amsterdam and the Village of St. Johnsville located along the Mohawk River. Grant funds will be used to inventory and identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities.
"This grant is great news for St. Johnsville and Montgomery County's economy. Reclaiming brownfields means not only a safer environment for the community, but properties ready for new investment and development,” said Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort. “Converting underused sites like brownfields back into thriving places is important to our future. This funding announcement is coming at a particularly critical time as we look to continue building our local economy coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Rochester, NY – $408,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant
EPA has selected the City of Rochester for a $408,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant to clean up petroleum contamination at the 24 York Street and 32 York Street sites. From approximately 1925 to 1954, 24 York Street was used as a privately-owned gasoline station, then became an auto repair facility until 1981 when the gasoline service station building was demolished. Bordering 24 York Street, 32 York Street was used as a church and post office. In addition to the cleanup, grant funds will be used to complete a groundwater monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of the cleanup and to develop community outreach activities.
“These funds will advance our work to restore the historic Bull’s Head neighborhood to its place of prominence as Rochester’s western gateway,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “I want to thank the Environmental Protection Agency for recognizing the value of this project and awarding this grant. We look forward to working with the EPA and our community partners as we continue our efforts to create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”
Sullivan County Land Bank Corporation, Monticello, NY - $500,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant
EPA has selected the Sullivan County Land Bank Corporation for a $500,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant to clean up Monticello Manor at 15 High Street in the Village of Monticello. The 5.6-acre site operated as a hospital from 1923 to 1977 and was then sold and converted to a retirement home that operated from 1977 to 2008. The site is currently vacant contaminated with petroleum from leaking aboveground and underground storage tanks, inorganic contaminants, and heavy metals. Grant funds will also be used to develop a community outreach plan.
“The Sullivan County Land Bank is thrilled to receive this assistance for rehabilitating a long abandoned property in a strategic location at the heart of the County seat, where we’ve seen the demand for affordable housing fueled by a substantial increase in jobs over the past few years,” said Freda Eisenberg, Chair of the Sullivan County Land Bank. “The award will enhance the effectiveness of the Land Bank’s partnership with the County, local municipalities, and allied organizations in revitalizing distressed communities.”
Wayne County, NY – $600,000 Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant
EPA has selected Wayne County for a $600,000 Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant targeting former industrial, manufacturing, and utility businesses in the Towns of Arcadia and Lyons, and the Village of Newark. Over 200 years of heavy industry in the areas have left a legacy of contamination, including a 157-acre former fuel storage and maintenance shop and a former photo etching company. Coalition partners are the Wayne County Regional Land Bank, the Wayne Economic Development Corporation, the Towns of Arcadia and Lyons, and the Village of Newark. Grant funds will be used to inventory and identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities.
Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfields Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes, while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, brownfields grants are shown to:
- Increase Local Tax Revenue: 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. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
- Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.
A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States. EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $1.6 billion in brownfield grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. To date, brownfields investments have leveraged more than $31 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding, from both public and private sources, leveraged more than 160,000 jobs.
The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on April 26-30, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association.
For more on the brownfields grants: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/brownfields
For more information about EPA’s role in Opportunity Zones: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/opportunity-zones
For information on the studies related to the Brownfields Program’s environmental and economic benefits: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-program-environmental-and-economic-benefits
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