May 6, 2020
Source: Allison Lippert
Department: U.S. EPA News Releases
GRAND RAPIDS/KALAMAZOO (May 06, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that St. Joseph, Ottawa and Calhoun counties in western Michigan will receive a total of $1.7 million 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 over 948 grants.
"These communities are ready to move forward with redevelopment; they just lacked the funding to take that next step," said EPA Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede. "EPA's Brownfields grants help jump-start the process by providing support for assessments and cleanups."
"I'm so pleased that the EPA's Brownfields Program is providing such a significant grant that will support the local economy and provide for new opportunities here in St. Joseph County," said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06). "The folks of Three Rivers and the neighboring communities are salt of the earth people, and during this difficult moment in our nation's history where so many of us are facing new challenges, this grant funding is certainly a breath of good news for this region of our state."
"This EPA grant will help strengthen the environment as well as the economy across Ottawa County," said U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02). "Whether it is Harbor Island in Grand Haven or one of the other phase one or phase two locations, this grant will help the local economy by turning previously contaminated sites into viable sources of recreation and economic opportunity."
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.