Press Release from the Environmental Protection Agency on 5/20/16
U.S. EPA: Ted Lanzano, 303-312-6596, firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Kalispell: Katharine Thompson, 406-758-7713, email@example.com
(Denver, Colo. - May 20, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded the City of Kalispell, Montana $400,000 and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation $200,000 in Brownfields grant funding to conduct critical environmental assessments at properties targeted for reuse and redevelopment. Today's announcement is among 218 new grant investments totaling $55.2 million to 131 communities across the U.S. that are underserved and economically disadvantaged, including neighborhoods where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed.
"EPA Brownfields grants continue to help Montana communities transform blighted properties into assets," said EPA regional administrator, Shaun McGrath. "EPA is proud to be part of these projects that are addressing contamination and creating new amenities and business opportunities."
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will receive $200K in EPA grant resources to conduct environmental assessments at properties containing damaged buildings and abandoned mills, dumps, and vehicle junkyards in communities across the Flathead Reservation. These assessments will inform cleanup needs and advance Tribal plans for the reuse and redevelopment of these properties.
The City of Kalispell will receive $400K in EPA grant funds to conduct targeted environmental assessments at an extensive inventory of brownfields sites within the City’s Core Area. Many of these sites are related to historic industrial uses in the area and also include former auto repair and paint shops, wrecking yards, dry cleaners and other facilities where solvents, petroleum and metals are potential contaminants. These environmental site assessments will be critical to the redevelopment of catalytic sites along a railroad corridor that has been identified by the community as a priority for redevelopment and use as a pedestrian trail and green space.
EPA’s Brownfields program strives to expand the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses. The investments will provide communities with the funding necessary to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. This latest funding advances EPA’s broader commitment to making a visible difference in communities by focusing on coordinating federal investments to help environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities address local priorities.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in the United States. Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative brownfields program investments have leveraged more than $20 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfields dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 108,924 jobs nationwide. Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent.