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EPA Announces Oklahoma Corporation Commission to Receive $2,000,000 in Brownfields Assessment Funding

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DALLAS, TEXAS (May 17, 2022) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 has selected the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) for a Brownfields Community-Wide Assessment Grant for States and Tribes. The OCC will receive $2,000,000 to assist with assessments of environmental sites and to aid local high-priority areas of concern.

“EPA is committed to assisting all communities regardless of size,” said Region 6 Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “EPA is proud to continue supporting this work that benefits the people, neighborhoods, and businesses in any location. This grant will help communities better understand their risk and clean up the environment to improve public health.  We look forward to seeing the results of this funding provide more opportunity to help reinvest in local communities in Oklahoma. 

“As the Oklahoma Corporation Commission administrator, I am enormously proud of our selection as one of a very few recipients of the Brownfield Program’s grants,” said Tim Rhodes Director of the Oklahoma Corporation CommissionOklahoma was selected is a testament to the professionalism and expertise of our fine, professional staff at the OCC.”

The grant will fund opportunities to conduct a total of sixty-four environmental site assessments and a creation of a Brownfield inventory. Additionally with community grants, four supplemental assessments will also be conducted. The primary area of focus will be within areas of Midwest City, Tonkawa, and Guymon.

Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example:

  • To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment and more than 9,500 properties have been made ready for reuse.
  • Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.43 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
  • In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% as a result of cleanup activities.
  • Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.

The list of the applicants selected for funding is available here

Additional Background

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. Redevelopment made possible through the program includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.   

The next National Brownfield Training Conference will be held on August 16-19, 2022 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 (ICMA). Conference registration is available here.

Please view EPA’s website on the Brownfields Program  for additional information.

Connect with EPA Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

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Author: Region 06

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