News Releases from Region 06
EPA Selects City of Dallas, Texas, for $600,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Funds are part of $65.6 million awarded nationwide
Media contacts: Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard, R6Press@epa.gov or 214 665-2200
DALLAS – (May 7, 2020) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that the city of Dallas, Texas, will receive Brownfields assessment grant for $600,000. The grant is part of $65.6 million given nationwide 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 948 grants.
The city of Dallas will focus its $600,000 in grants to assess abandoned or contaminated sites in the South Dallas and Fair Park areas, which include Opportunity Zones. Priority sites include a 45-acre former Ford assembly plant, a historic theater, and a former Proctor and Gamble industrial complex. Coalition partners are the Real Estate Council, St. Philip’s School and Community Center, and the Lone Star Justice Alliance.
“With signature spaces like Victory Plaza and thousands of acres of redeveloped properties, Dallas has shown that great things can start with a Brownfields grant from EPA,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “This grant will provide more opportunities to revitalize derelict properties and reinvest in local communities.”
“We are proud to partner with the EPA, and we are thrilled to receive this grant, which will help facilitate community-oriented revitalization of brownfields in Dallas. I am particularly excited about the potential of this tool to help us reverse economic disinvestment and health disparities in South Dallas caused in part by longstanding environmental hazards,” said Mayor Eric Johnson of Dallas. “Despite these myriad challenges and historic neglect, the people of South Dallas have built a vibrant community. Inclusive efforts such as this one are important to further strengthening that sense of community, restoring economic vitality, and improving public health.”
“I welcome EPA’s decision for making this wise investment in South Dallas Fair Park Area, and look forward to the positive impact these new federal dollars will have on communities with brownfield sites ready for cleanup and redevelopment. I also congratulate the Brownfields Assessment Coalition for working together on this effort and securing this EPA grant that is critical to cleaning up our environment and creating the necessary conditions to further draw new businesses and people to our community,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30). “As the Senior Member of Congress from North Texas, I have seen firsthand the benefits that Brownfields redevelopment can bring to a community. A 72-acre site in my district, formerly known as Victory Park, was transformed by the Brownfields program from an industrial wasteland populated by an old paint factory and meatpacking plant. Since then – and thanks in large part to the Brownfields Program – that same plot is now home to the American Airlines Center and other retail and commercial space. This is just one example in my Congressional district and across the country of how successful we can be in converting depressed, decaying areas into vibrant economic and cultural centers that can increase employment and productivity in the region.”
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.
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.
List of the FY 2020 applicants selected for funding: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2020-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-0
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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About EPA Region 6: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central