Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $300 Million in Brownfield Grants Through Investing in America Agenda to Rehabilitate and Revitalize Communities

WASHINGTON – Today, May 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing over $300 million in grant awards from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help States, Tribal Nations, local governments and non-profit organizations assess and clean up polluted brownfield sites across the country. 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.

178 communities will receive 181 grant awards totaling $231 million through EPA’s MAC Grant Programs. EPA is also announcing $68 million in supplemental funding for 31 existing, high-performing Brownfields RLF Grant Programs, as well as the selection of Grow America, an RLF Technical Assistance provider, for an estimated $3 million in grant funding. 

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will announce the awards in Philadelphia today alongside Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) at a local brownfield site near Bartram’s Mile.

For over 60 years, the site was used as an oil terminal, filled with storage tanks full of petroleum and other semi-volatile organic compounds. The City of Philadelphia has been working to reclaim brownfield sites along Bartram’s Mile, turning them into a community hub where residents can access trails for hiking and biking, as well as areas for fishing, gardening, farming and more.

“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.” 

“I was proud to vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that is again delivering needed funding to Philadelphia. Cleaning and re-using brownfield sites is so important,” said Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03). “It brings and development and jobs to areas that need them, and it keeps green spaces from being paved over. I call that a win-win!”

Continuing the successes of previous Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded Brownfield grants, today’s investment will advance projects like these:

Located in Chippewa County, Michigan, the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) has long faced extensive soil and groundwater contamination from asbestos and lead paint. With the successful support of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, BMIC President Whitney Gravelle and Tribal Manager Rachel Lyons are working to convert a former brownfield site into a recreational destination with docks for kayaking and canoeing. This year, the Tribe’s reservation is receiving additional new funding to tackle another nearby brownfield – the Silver Dome Building, which was once polluted with dry-cleaning solvents and is now being transformed into a community center. 

Dallas, Texas is leading the charge in using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law resources to transform some of the city’s most overburdened neighborhoods. In Joppa – a community in South Dallas founded by formerly enslaved people after the Civil War – Brownfields Grant funding is being leveraged to rebuild the once segregated, now shuttered Melissa Pierce School into a vibrant community center. Dallas will now receive an additional Brownfields grant this year to continue redeveloping affordable housing properties located in Dallas’ Southside.

With its momentous commitment to removing contaminated properties across all its neighborhoods, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee is effectively using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grants to renovate blighted brownfields into affordable housing. The city, under the leadership of Mayor Cavalier Johnson, will receive new loan funds this year to continue financing projects like the remediation of the long-underutilized Filer & Stowell factory site into a 576-unit apartments complex at the north end of Bay View in another historically overburdened community – a fourth of these apartments are set aside specifically for senior citizens.

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.

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. 

These grants can be awarded once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by selected recipients. Selected grants will be awarded to States, Tribal Nations, local governments and non-profit organizations to address the health, economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields. 

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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