Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2.2 Million in Brownfield Grants Through Investing in America Agenda to Rehabilitate and Revitalize Communities in Texas

DALLAS, TEXAS (May 23, 2024)  –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $2.2 million in grants from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in Texas while advancing environmental justice. These investments, through EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Programs, will help transform once-polluted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community assets, while helping to create good jobs and spur economic revitalization in overburdened communities.

EPA selected the cities of Balcones Heights, Fort Worth, Hamilton and Freeport to receive $1.95 million in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant programs. EPA is also announcing $250,000 in supplemental funding to existing, high-performing Brownfields RLF Grant Programs to expedite their continued work at sites in Dallas.

“Far too many communities across America have suffered the harmful economic and health consequences of living near polluted brownfield sites,” said President Joe Biden. “I’ve long believed that people who’ve borne the burden of pollution should be the first to see the benefits of new investment. Under my Administration, we are making that a reality by ensuring the historic resources from my Investing in America agenda reach communities that need it most. I am proud that my Administration is helping Philadelphia clean up and transform this area into an economic engine, while tackling a longstanding environmental injustice and creating good-paying jobs.”

“President Biden sees contaminated sites and blighted areas as an opportunity to invest in healthier, revitalized communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “That’s why he secured historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, supercharging EPA’s Brownfields program to clean up contaminated properties in overburdened communities and bring them back into productive use.” 

“Across Texas, cities of all sizes use Brownfields funding to clean up abandoned, contaminated sites that can act as roadblocks to healthy, revitalized neighborhoods,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “With more funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, even more cities, small towns, and rural areas can invest in a clean environment for all residents.”

 “I’m proud to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I helped pass in 2021 continue to deliver real results for South Texans,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20). “This funding will allow Balcones Heights to plan and prepare cleanup of polluted, abandoned properties and pave the way for safer and healthier neighborhoods. Thank you to the EPA for prioritizing South Texas in its efforts to both grow local economies and advance environmental justice in American communities.”

“In 2021, I proudly voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made grants like this one possible,” said Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33). “These investments will go to fight against pollution, clean our air and water and help create brighter outcomes for communities across North Texas.”

“Thanks to this latest investment from the Biden-Harris administration for the City of Dallas, we will be able to convert long-contaminated parts of our community into sites of opportunity for the next generation” said Rep. Jasmine Crockett (TX-30). “By investing the Brownfield Revolving Fund into the heart of Texas, we can now clean up a toxic environment left behind from a legacy of systemic discrimination while simultaneously promoting economic growth through new use of what is the greatest commodities we have today—land. Now more than ever, Dallas needs to build new affordable housing options—but because those with money and power have dumped decades of pollution into our community, we stuck with locations that prevent us from building affordable housing because we know its unsafe to raise children in these polluted environments. With today’s announced investment that builds on a longstanding commitment to environmental justice, the Biden-Harris administration acknowledges the potential our community to thrive when freed from the restraints of poisonous pollution.”

Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

EPA’s Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations in all aspects of its work. Approximately 86% of the MAC and RLF Supplemental program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include disadvantaged communities.

State Funding Breakdown:

Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program Selection

The following organizations in Texas have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs.

The city of Balcones Heights has been selected for a $450,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to conduct 14 Phase I and seven Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to identify and prioritize additional sites, prepare two cleanup plans, conduct two visioning sessions, prepare two site reuse assessments and one redevelopment plan, and support community engagement activities. Priority sites include a 2.22-acre site on Fredericksburg Road containing dilapidated commercial buildings that have housed a dry cleaner facility, storage warehouses, and auto repair facilities, and a 0.6-acre former automotive repair store site located on Crossroads Boulevard.

The city of Fort Worth will receive a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to conduct 30 Phase I and 10 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to identify and prioritize additional sites, develop four cleanup plans, conduct two visioning sessions, and support community engagement activities. Priority sites include Butler Place, which is an abandoned 42-acre, 400-unit low-income housing residential property, and the former R. Vickery School.

The city of Freeport will receive a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to inventory sites and conduct 16 Phase I and nine Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop four cleanup plans and two site reuse assessments, and support community engagement activities. Priority sites include a 5.7-acre vacant property that previously housed a medical equipment manufacturing company and has been abandoned since the early 2000s and an 11-acre former railroad yard with abandoned railroad tracks, a building slab, and abandoned trailers. Both sites are within walking distance of the city’s historic downtown.

The city of Hamilton will receive a $500,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant to clean up the Grogan Street Nursing Home located at 400 West Grogan Street. The cleanup site operated as a nursing home from 1960 until 1997 and has sat vacant since then. It is contaminated with inorganic contaminants.

To see the list of the FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

Non-competitive Supplemental Funding Through the Existing Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Program

EPA is announcing $250,000 in non-competitive supplemental funding to successful existing Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant programs that have already achieved success in their work to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. RLF Grants provide funding for recipients to offer loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. The funding announced today will help communities continue to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfield sites.

In addition to the $1,000,000 in EPA funds already awarded, the city of Dallas Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) has been selected to receive an additional $250,000 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) because it has a high-performing RLF program with significantly depleted funds. Potential projects highlighted for use of the BIL funding include multiple former dry cleaners and multiple properties slated for affordable housing located on Dallas’ Southside. The BIL funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most underserved areas in Dallas.

To see the list of RLF Supplemental funding recipients visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

Additional Background:

EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites to address the health, economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields. EPA anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.7 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. Prior to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program made approximately $60 million available each year. Thanks to the President’s historic investments in America through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA has now increased that yearly investment nearly 400 percent. More than half of the funding available for this grant cycle (approximately $160 million) comes from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This investment has also allowed the MAC grants’ maximum award amounts to increase significantly from $500,000 to a new maximum of $5 million per award.

To see the list of the FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

 

To see the list of RLF Supplemental funding recipients visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

 

To learn more about RLF Technical Assistance grant recipient visit EPA’s Brownfields Grow America webpage.

 

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program visit EPA’s Brownfields webpage.     

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