EPA Selects City of Alexandria, La., for $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant

Funds are part of $65.6 million awarded nationwide

DALLAS, TX (STL.News) Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that the city of Alexandria, Louisiana, will receive $300,000 as a Brownfields assessment grant.  The funding is part of $65.6 million given nationwide to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program.  Under President Trump’s Administration, EPA has delivered approximately $287 million in Brownfield grants directly to communities and nonprofits for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation, and economic development through the award of 948 grants.

“The city of Alexandria, like many throughout the country, has shown that restoring abandoned or contaminated properties can help revitalize entire communities,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen.  “EPA is proud to support their efforts to restore the downtown area and set the stage for continued growth.”

“We are extremely grateful to EPA for this award, which allows us to maintain momentum to resolve remaining Brownfields sites that pose potential hazards to human health, and create opportunities for investment and economic growth,” said Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall.  “The funds from this grant will allow us to move forward with our remediation and rejuvenation efforts as we work to revitalize Alexandria and better meet the needs of area residents.”

The city of Alexandria’s $300,000 grant will be used for site assessment, focusing on the Original Town area, which is in a qualified Opportunity Zone.  Priority sites in this area include a 14-acre former iron scrapyard and a historic hotel that has been abandoned and unmaintained for decades.

Nationwide, this year, the agency is announcing the selection of 155 grants for communities and tribes totaling over $65.6 million in EPA brownfields funding the agency’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Programs.  These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities, including neighborhoods located in Opportunity Zones, in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.  An Opportunity Zone is an economically distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.  Of the 151 total communities selected, 118 of these communities can potentially assess or clean up brownfield sites in census tracts designated in these zones.  In addition, nearly 30% of the communities selected today will receive brownfields funding for the first time.

Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfields Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes, while taking advantage of existing infrastructure.  For example, brownfields grants are shown to:

  • Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup.
  • This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
  • Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.