LENEXA, KAN. (MAY 19, 2022) – The Biden administration, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced that Kansas City, Missouri, was selected to receive $5.75 million out of the $254.5 million in Brownfields and Revolving Loan Fund grants for 265 selected communities.
Kansas City was selected for $850,000 in Brownfields grants targeting Parade Park Homes sites and $4.9 million in Brownfields Revolving Loan Funds. Of that $4.9 million, $1 million will be available to the Bi-State jurisdiction area that includes the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas.
These grants are supported by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties.
$500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Kansas City was selected for community-wide assessment work and the development of two cleanup plans within the city’s 22 Urban Core Opportunity Zones. The priority site is Parade Park Homes – South, which formerly housed a large steam laundry plant and dry-cleaning facility and a former paint and varnish manufacturer. This selected grant will also support a site reuse plan and the preparation of outreach materials in English and Spanish. Parade Park Homes – South has 17 buildings and a total of 182 residential townhome units.
$350,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Kansas City was also selected for environmental assessment and the development of cleanup plans for the Parade Park Homes – North site, which formerly housed a gas station, an auto repair garage, and a dry-cleaning operation, and is adjacent to other former gas stations and garages. This selected grant also will be used to develop a brownfields resource roadmap and conduct community outreach activities.
$3.9 Million Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund
The Kansas City, Missouri, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund was selected to receive $3.9 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding because it is a high-performing program with 10 projects completed and one cleanup near completion at the Hardesty Federal Complex Building #9, which is anticipated to be primarily redeveloped as mixed-income housing. Other recent projects include the Negro League Baseball Museum Buck O’Neil Education Center at the former Paseo YMCA, which will host a grand opening this fall. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most overburdened areas of Kansas City, Missouri.
$1 Million Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund
The Kansas City, Missouri, Bi-State Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund was selected to receive $1.0 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding because it is a high-performing program, having committed most of its initial funds to the cleanup of the Crispus Attucks Elementary School in the 18th and Vine District. The historic school building is targeted for redevelopment as the Zhou B Arts and Cultural Center that will support local African American arts, and house Friends of Alvin Ailey and studio maker spaces. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most disadvantaged areas in the Bi-State jurisdiction, which includes Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas.
This funding does not require the normal cost share requirements for Revolving Loan Fund grants, thus further facilitating local communities and developers’ reinvestment into the reuse of the brownfield properties.
Brownfield projects can range from cleaning up buildings with asbestos or lead contamination to assessing and cleaning up abandoned properties that once managed dangerous chemicals. Once cleaned up, former brownfield properties can be redeveloped into productive uses, such as grocery stores, affordable housing, health centers, museums, parks, and solar farms.
The Brownfields program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86% of the communities selected to receive funding as part of today’s announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.
“With today’s announcement, we’re turning blight into might for communities across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA’s Brownfields program breathes new life into communities by helping to turn contaminated and potentially dangerous sites into productive economic contributors. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are significantly ramping up our investments in communities, with the bulk of our funding going to places that have been overburdened and underserved for far too long.”
“EPA Region 7 is proud to announce the selection of Kansas City, Missouri, for two Brownfields Assessment Grants and two Brownfields Revolving Loan Funds,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meghan A. McCollister. “The Brownfields program has a proven record of empowering communities through benefits ranging from local job creation to increased property values. This investment will uplift Kansas City and provide measurable and meaningful change to the residents of Parade Park Homes.”
What They’re Saying
“I am pleased to join the Environmental Protection Agency in announcing Kansas City’s selection as a recipient for Brownfields Assessment Grants, specifically targeting environmental testing and remediation for Parade Park Homes as they establish plans for redevelopment,” said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (Missouri). “As a proud supporter of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I am excited to see how the law is already helping critical, long overdue initiatives like this reach the heart of Missouri’s 5th Congressional District. It’s projects like these that are going to help us build a better America in Kansas City and beyond.”
“Right now, Wyandotte County families are living near contaminated sites, dealing with possible lead or chemical exposure and dangerous health effects – it’s unacceptable,” said U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (Kansas). “I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve the health and economic outlook of our communities, and I’m glad to say that help is on the way to clean up these sites and ensure every Kansas family has clean air, clean water, and a brighter future.”
“We are pleased today to announce $5.75 million in grants selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Kansas City, which positions our city and Brownfield Coalition partners to build upon our ongoing work to reactivate once-polluted and dangerous industrial sites – which will benefit Kansas City families, property owners, and our climate,” said Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas. “I have met with EPA officials, both in Kansas City and Washington, to discuss ways we can work together to create a cleaner and healthier community. The federal resources shared today will support both the assessment of sites and the redevelopment of existing buildings critical to the continued reinvestment in communities throughout Kansas City. I thank the EPA for our continued partnership.”
“Congresswoman Sharice Davids (Kansas) is a champion for our community, and we are most appreciative of her efforts to ensure that Wyandotte County is considered in all appropriations that could improve the lives of those who reside here,” said Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor and CEO Tyrone A. Garner. “Our needs are great and the support of the U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency is critical to our success. We appreciate being included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocation.”
EPA’s Brownfields grants and other technical assistance programs, like the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, are also helping to build the clean energy economy. Today’s announcement includes a former coal mine in Greene County, Pennsylvania, that will become a 10-megawatt solar farm, and a former dump site in the Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana that will be converted to a solar farm, saving local residents an estimated $2.8 million in energy costs over 25 years, among many others.
Today’s announcement includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with over $75 million from fiscal year 2022 appropriations.
The funding includes:
- $112.8 million for 183 selectees for Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
- $18.2 million for 36 selectees for Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.
- $16.3 million for 17 selectees for Revolving Loan Fund Grants, which will provide funding for recipients to offer loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites.
- $107 million for 39 high-performing Revolving Loan Fund Grant recipients to help communities continue their work to carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects on contaminated brownfield properties. Supplemental funding for Revolving Loan Fund Grants is available to recipients that have depleted their funds and have viable cleanup projects ready for work.
The list of selected applicants is available online.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged over $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 over 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment, and over 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 Brownfields Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study 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 – two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those Brownfields sites.
“EPA’s Brownfields program is the true embodiment of turning adversity into opportunity – it takes contaminated and potentially hazardous places and turns them into thriving generators of economic prosperity,” said Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman Tom Carper. “Today’s announcement is great news for the nation, as we unveil vital investments from our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help more communities benefit from this transformative program.”
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for the 149 million Americans who live within 3 miles of a brownfield site,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone. “These funds, predominantly from our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow families across the country to rest a little easier, knowing that some of the most contaminated sites in their area will soon be cleaned up, revitalized, and generating new jobs and economic opportunities. I’m grateful to Administrator Regan and the Biden administration for working so closely with Congress to prioritize the Brownfields program, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure every community – particularly those that have been historically overlooked and underserved – receives the resources they need.”
“Last year, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, which provided once-in-a-lifetime investment that is fundamentally transforming our critical infrastructure,” said House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio. “This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also included significant funding to EPA’s Brownfields program for the cleanup of legacy toxic contamination that scars our communities with hazardous, blighted, or underutilized properties and threatens the health of our families and our environment. The grants being announced today continue the successful tradition of the Brownfields remediation program, while targeting resources to those communities, both urban and rural, that haven’t been able to participate in the program due to lack of local-technical capacity or lack of local matching resources.”
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 Brownfields Training Conference will be held 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 open online.
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Author: Region 07